80-year-old killed in drive-by shooting not the target, police say

Detective Lisa Bender of the Atlanta Police Department conducts an interview Friday morning at the scene of a homicide investigation on Meadow Park Drive.

Detective Lisa Bender of the Atlanta Police Department conducts an interview Friday morning at the scene of a homicide investigation on Meadow Park Drive.

An 80-year-old grandfather was found shot dead Friday morning when police were asked to do a wellness check at a southwest Atlanta home.

The victim was discovered shortly before 4 a.m. at the home on Meadow Park Drive. He was identified by police as Clarence Knox, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Investigators do not believe the man was the intended target of the gunfire, Atlanta police spokesman Officer Steve Avery told the news station.

“Detectives believe the male may have been an unintended victim of a drive-by shooting,” he said in a statement.

According to police, the shooting happened between 9 and 10 p.m. Thursday, but homicide detectives were not called to the scene until Knox’s body was discovered Friday morning. Officers collected as many as 20 shell casings in and around the home, Channel 2 reported.

It was the second time this month that police investigated a shooting at the home. Knox called police June 3 after bullets tore through his living room and damaged a wall, a window and the brick, according to a police report obtained by AJC.com.

A neighbor told police she saw the shooter fire at the house and then run up the street. Another witness said he saw a man jump into a silver vehicle and speed away after hearing the gunshots, according to the report.

Family members told Channel 2 on Friday they believe a young relative Knox allowed to stay with him was the intended target in both shootings.

Both incidents are still under investigation. Police have not determined a motive in the shooting that resulted in Knox’s death, Avery said.

Knox’s family said the patriarch was the pillar of their family. He was a mechanic who worked for the same Atlanta transmission business for more than 50 years until it closed, according to his daughter.

The family is raising funds to support Knox's wife and help with funeral expenses. A GoFundMe campaign had raised nearly $800 of its $50,000 goal as of Monday morning.

— Please return to AJC.com for updates.

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