14-year-old arrested in shooting of bystander at DeKalb gas station

Credit: WSBTV Videos

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1 dead, 2 injured after shooting at DeKalb County gas station

Credit: WSBTV Videos

DeKalb County police have arrested a 14-year-old boy suspected of firing a stray bullet that killed a man as he left a Lithonia gas station with his family Thursday night.

Police said 28-year-old John Battle was in a car with his girlfriend and his young daughter when got caught in the crossfire of two feuding groups.

Battle was driving away from the Shell station at the intersection of Covington Highway and Wellborn Road when the groups began shooting at each other around 6 p.m., according to a DeKalb police spokesperson. He was shot once and crashed into a wood line near the gas station.

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John Battle, 28, was in a car with his girlfriend and daughter when he was fatally struck by a stray bullet Thursday night outside a Shell gas station in DeKalb County.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

John Battle, 28, was in a car with his girlfriend and daughter when he was fatally struck by a stray bullet Thursday night outside a Shell gas station in DeKalb County.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Combined ShapeCaption
John Battle, 28, was in a car with his girlfriend and daughter when he was fatally struck by a stray bullet Thursday night outside a Shell gas station in DeKalb County.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Battle’s 1-year-old daughter and girlfriend were not seriously injured in the wreck, police said.

“Meanwhile, one of the men involved in the dispute was also shot and is in a local hospital with serious injuries,” spokesperson Michaela Vincent said in a news release Friday morning. “The other individuals involved fled the scene and have not been identified.”

That wounded person proved to be the 14-year-old suspect who was arrested Friday afternoon. Police charged the teen, whose name was not released, with felony murder and armed robbery in connection with Battle’s shooting death.

It was not clear how many people were arguing outside the gas station, but Vincent confirmed Battle and his family were not involved.

Anyone with information is asked to contact DeKalb homicide detectives at 770-724-7850. Tipsters can remain anonymous, and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000, by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.

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