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Two shot in 'brazen' teen nightclub shooting

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

Jonesboro police are looking for a suspect who fired into a crowd of teenagers and police, after officers broke up a fight outside a late-night teen hangout.

The incident took place on Saturday night outside Da Clubhouse, at 8240 Tara Blvd., in Jonesboro. After a fight was dispersed by the Jonesboro Police around 9:30 p.m., an unknown shooter fired four shots from the darken median on Tara Boulevard. In the violence, one 15-year-old was shot in the arm, and another was grazed, when a bullet struck the left side of his head.

"They are both very lucky," said Jonesboro Detective Tim Jessup. "The one that was hit in the arm, he is going to recover from his injuries." He said the boy who was grazed in the head "was back in school" on Monday.

Both victims were treated for their injuries at Southern Regional Medical Center. Four people were detained and questioned on Saturday night, but no charges were filed.

According to the police report, a Clayton County crime scene investigator witnessed a black male wearing a white shirt, and black running pants, with red stripes, fire into the crowd. Jessup said the shots were fired from about 50 feet away.

Officers attempted to chase the suspect, but lost the shooter in a crowd of other juveniles leaving the scene. Jessup said officers could not positively identify the shooter, due to poor lighting in the area.

In the last 18 months, officers have been dispatched to respond to multiple disturbances at the teen hangout, located on the corner of Dixon Road and Tara Boulevard, according to Jessup. He said this shooting was the second outside the club in a month.

"It was during spring break," said Jessup. "No one was shot the first time. The shots were fired from J. Buffalo [House] across the street, but they were fired toward Da Clubhouse."

Jessup said the shooting last month was similar to the one Saturday. The gunmen in both incidents fired shots in the presence of police officers.

"It's pretty brazen," said Jessup. "A month ago, we had the same thing. The crowd was broken up and someone was shooting into it ... they're getting pretty brave."

On Tuesday, Jonesboro Police officers followed leads which took them to Morrow High School and the Perry Learning Center. Jessup believes the shootings are gang related.

On Tuesday, a reporter attempted to contact Da Clubhouse Owner James Houston. An assistant answered the phone, and said she would give Houston a message to call the reporter. No call was received.

Jessup urged anyone with information pertaining to the shooting to contact the police.

"If someone has information, they need to contact the Jonesboro Police Department," said Jessup. "The person has shot into a crowd of people, so they are capable of anything."