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Deck collapses at candlelight vigil

By Bill Yoder

An elevated, wooden deck on the back of a home at 6076 Hickory Drive in Forest Park collapsed Thursday night during a candlelight vigil for Devon Gates, the 19-year-old Rex man shot to death this past weekend.

A pastor had just finished a ceremony, and people were beginning to hug each other when the deck collapsed, according to witness Stanley Milligan.

About 40 to 50 people were on the deck, according to Clayton County Police Department Capt. Jeff Turner. There were some injuries, but none were considered life-threatening.

Gates was shot in the face early Sunday morning during a birthday party at the same residence.

Ambulances were called to the scene and the injured were transported to area hospitals.

Milligan, a member of the Gates family, was on the deck and quickly ran inside when he heard the cracking. He then saw the porch collapse.