The victim did not start the argument and detectives believe he was "an innocent party," DeKalb County Police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said.
The victim was sitting in a car when he was shot; a female passenger was not hurt. Police said the victim was in moderate condition at a local hospital. "His injuries are non-life threatening," Parish said.
Perry, originally from Columbia, S.C., played in the NFL for Denver, the Rams and Raiders. His eight-year career ended in 1995.
The suspect who shot him apparently fled by car. Police did not release a description of the vehicle.
JC Food Mart owner Montez Tayler was inside when the shooting started.
" I heard three or four gunshots," he told the AJC. "I didn't even see anybody."
The store and car wash are located in the 6600 block of Hillandale Drive.
A native Atlantan, Boone joined the AJC staff in 2007. He quickly carved out a niche covering crime stories, assuming the public safety beat in 2014. He's covered some of the biggest trials this decade, from Hemy Neuman to Ross Harris to Chip Olsen, the latter of which was featured on Season 7 of the AJC's award-winning "Breakdown" podcast.