Man who fatally shot DeKalb auto shop worker sentenced to life in prison

Credit: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office

Credit: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office

A man who shot and killed a DeKalb County auto shop employee who had been helping him with his car moments earlier was sentenced Thursday to life in prison.

Lashon Grace, 44, was found guilty on multiple counts, including murder, DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston announced. He was taken into custody by Atlanta police within moments of the shooting, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

The victim, 53-year-old Antonio Holder, suffered a gunshot wound and died at the scene, police said.

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Grace was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 15 years, Boston said.

The shooting took place Feb. 27, 2021, at a tire shop on the corner of Moreland Avenue and Memorial Drive in southeast Atlanta, Boston said in Thursday’s announcement. In that area of Atlanta, Moreland Avenue runs along the border between Fulton and DeKalb counties.

According to Boston, Grace drove his car off an embankment at the tire shop and asked Holder and some of his fellow employees for help. As they tried to push the car back onto the pavement, a part fell off Grace’s car and he became angry. After arguing with Holder, Grace shot the tire shop employee in the head.

While the incident was unfolding, police were conducting a traffic stop nearby. After the shooting, Grace left the scene on foot and witnesses ran to alert the officers.

Two officers located Grace and followed him as he walked away, accompanied by a man who had been a passenger in his car. The officers saw Grace throw his gun over a fence and took him into custody shortly after. Police released body-worn camera footage of the arrest, which shows one of the officers saying, “He just threw the gun!”

Grace was arrested after a brief chase.

At trial, Boston’s team called witnesses who identified Grace as the shooter and presented forensic evidence against him. The weapon Grace threw away matched the casings at the scene, and he had residue from firing a gun on his hands.

Grace was found guilty of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.