By Alicia Couch Payne

Police responded to the scene of a shooting at the gas station located at Thompson Mill Road and Pebblebrook Drive in Buford. Photo credit:  Alicia Couch Payne



The shooting victim has been identified as Branden Gerena, a 15-year-old Hispanic male from Buford, Ga.

Police have not been able to locate the suspect yet and anyone with information is being asked to call detectives at (770) 513-5300.


(Buford, Ga.) — Shortly after midnight on July 1, a shooting occurred at the convenience store located at Thompson Mill Road and Pebblebrook Drive in Buford, Ga. Officers responded and found one 15 yr old male with a gunshot wound to the head.

The 15 yr old gunshot victim was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Officers were able to obtain surveillance video showing two 15 yr old males hanging out in front of the store when a third male believed to be in his twenties walked up and fired a single shot striking the victim in the head. The video then shows the suspect run off while the second 15 yr old male remained behind with his companion.

The suspect is described as being a black male in his twenties wearing a black jacket with red lettering, blue jeans and had a baseball hat turned backward. His identity is not currently known.

Officers are still actively working the crime scene and that includes looking for the suspect. There are units still currently looking for the suspect and that includes the Gwinnett County K-9 Unit and Air-1 unit.

The identity of the victim is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The second 15 yr old male is giving statements to detectives.

A motive is not currently known but Gwinnett County Police Department Public Information Officer Chris Smith stated, “It appears that there’s something suspicious related about it why they were possibly meeting someone here but we don’t know definitively what it was.”

The North Gwinnett Voice was the first media at the scene to bring this story to our readers as quickly as possible.  We will continue to update our readers as we learn more details.

If anyone has any information to share in this case, please contact GCPD detectives at 770-513-5300.  To remain anonymous, tipsters should contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477) or visit<>.  Crime Stoppers tipsters can receive a cash reward for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case.  Case Number:  19-059699

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