By Jim Simpson
At 3:30 p.m. on April 1, police responded to a call in the 500 block of Whitehead Rd. in Sugar Hill for a robbery that occurred in the 5000 block of Thorin Oak Cir. The victim, a Lanier High School student, told the officer that around 2:30 p.m. he and three school friends were sitting in his car smoking marijuana when he received a Snapchat message from another friend asking to hang out.
A short time later, a silver SUV pulled into the parking lot, trying to block the victim’s car. The victim identified the driver of the SUV as his girlfriend’s brother, also a Lanier High School student. The SUV’s passenger, whom the victim also knew from school, exited the vehicle and approached the passenger side of the victim’s car and pointed a gun at the occupants. When the victim sped away from the scene, the armed student fired a round into the passenger-side window.
The victim drove to a location near Shire Village Dr. and Hollow Brook Ct. and parked the car where he hid in the woods and phoned his father who arrived to take the victim home.
Officers went to the driver’s house for a “knock and talk,” where the victim told them that the shooter had “talked about robbing [victim] before.” The driver said the two went to meet the victim for a drug deal when an argument occurred and the victim drove off. The SUV driver stated he heard the gunshot.
Officers couldn’t locate the shooter at home but contacted him by phone. He told officers that he had indeed met with the victim for a drug deal involving an unspecified amount of marijuana, but that he never intended to pay for it and told the victim so. He also said that the reason he shot at the victim was that he feared his foot would be run over by the fleeing car.
The shooter agreed to meet police at the Mall of Georgia and give them the gun, which he said belonged to his girlfriend. Officers retrieved the weapon, a Glock 19 handgun from the girlfriend’s car however the shooter did not show.
Warrants were issued and officers went to the driver’s house where the silver SUV, was in the driveway. Officers later arrested and charged the driver with armed robbery.
The shooter was also arrested at his home in Sugar Hill and charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault and carrying an unlicensed concealed weapon.
Both students were arrested without incident and booked into the Gwinnett County Jail.