Decatur homicide is 12th in the last 21 years

Last week’s killing of 52-year-old Gerard Foster at Decatur’s Allen Wilson Terrace apartments was the 12th homicide within city limits since 1996. The last one was Dec. 6, 2014 when Karen Pearce was killed downtown by a suspected serial killer.

Little about Foster has been released. He was a church deacon, according to an AJC obituary, and is survived by his wife Diana Anglin Foster, seven children, two grandchildren and both parents.

Decatur Housing Authority Executive Director Douglas Faust said Monday he believes Foster had lived in Wilson Terrace (owned by the DHA) for about a year. Police say Foster was shot in the stairwell of his apartment on Robin Street, roughly one hundred yards from the back entrance of Decatur High School.

Over the weekend, Christonya Section, 31, and Jacob Marquez Pyne, 23, were arrested in connection with the crime. Neither are Decatur residents, according to Deputy Police Chief Keith Lee. Their relationship to Foster is unknown.

Most Decatur murders have been domestic related, where victims and suspects knew each other. Before Pearce, the last stranger-on-stranger killing was in September 2001, when a clerk working at Oakhurst’s Hop ‘N Shop store was shot during a robbery.

Lee said he doesn’t know when the last homicide occurred at Wilson Terrace, which dates to 1941 but was renovated between 2008-14. In 2008, a homeless man was beaten to death on Commerce Avenue, right across the street from Wilson.