Joshua Cortez Ellis (left) faces a murder charge in connection with the shooting death of Ronald Trey Peters (right).
Photo: Clayton County Sheriff's Office / Ronald Trey Peters via Facebook
Photo: Clayton County Sheriff's Office / Ronald Trey Peters via Facebook

Suspect arrested, 2 others sought in alleged hate-motivated shooting of Decatur man

A man who was arrested last month on unrelated charges now faces a murder charge in connection with an alleged hate-motivated shooting and robbery in DeKalb County.

Joshua Cortez Ellis, 21, of College Park, was charged by DeKalb police in the June 4 homicide of Ronald Trey Peters, 28, Sgt. J.D. Spencer told AJC.com. The gunman used an anti-gay slur as he ordered Peters to turn over his bag, according to a DeKalb police incident report.

RELATED: Police say DeKalb gunman used anti-gay slur before shooting man

Police have also obtained a murder warrant for Shaleeya Moore, who is still wanted in connection with this shooting, Spencer said. Another man, who is a person of interest, has not been identified.

Witnesses said as Peters walked down Orchard Circle, two men got out of a truck and put on masks. Peters’ partner told investigators he was on his way to the MARTA station before work.

“The witness then stated one of the unidentified suspects shot the victim in the chest with a chrome pistol, then proceeded to shoot him again in the neck after he was on the ground and took his bag,” the incident report said.

Bystanders told police the men who robbed and fatally shot Peters left in a maroon, 4-door truck driven by a third person.

Last month, police released surveillance photos of three people of interest in the deadly shooting. Both Ellis and Moore were among the people shown in the photos, Spencer said. 

MORE: 3 people of interest sought in alleged hate-motivated shooting death of Decatur man

Joshua Cortez Ellis (left), Shaleeya Moore
Photo: DeKalb County Police Department

Ellis was arrested June 6 by deputies in Clayton County after being wanted for armed robbery and aggravated assault charges, the sheriff’s office said in a news release. He’s accused of robbing and pistol-whipping a man on May 5, and he remains in the Clayton County jail.

Investigators checked the box on the report indicating the crime was “hate motivated.” Georgia is one of four states that does not have a hate crimes law, which allow for steeper penalties against certain bias-related crimes.

Peters, who was from Pell City, Ala., worked at Regional Medical Group in Decatur as a case manager.

MORE: Man killed in alleged DeKalb hate crime remembered as creative, kind

Anyone with information on the identity of the unknown person of interest, his whereabouts or the location of Moore is asked to contact the DeKalb County Police Department at 770-724-7850.

This is the unidentified third person of interest in the shooting death of a Decatur man, which investigators said was a hate-motivated crime.
Photo: DeKalb Police Department

Tipsters can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.

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