Gun fired near NHCC

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - BRYAN FAZIO bfazio@cov­news.com

An event at the Nel­son Heights Com­mu­nity Cen­ter re­sulted in gun fire in the sur­round­ing area and two hours of po­lice pres­ence Fri­day evening.

The com­mu­nity cen­ter was rented by a woman for her daugh­ter’s grad­u­a­tion party for the stan­dard rental fee of $150, ac­cord­ing to J.C. Hen­der­son, a county com­mis­sioner and chair­man of the Nel­son Heights Board of Di­rec­tors.

Hen­der­son said the party, which was sched­uled to end at 11 p.m., fea­tured “no drink­ing or pot smok­ing, just dancing for about five hours.”

Ac­cord­ing to Cov­ing­ton Po­lice Depart­ment re­ports, at 11:34 p.m. of­fi­cers were dis­patched to the area of Puck­ett and Laseter streets in ref­er­ence to gun­shots be­ing fired at the Nel­son Heights Com­mu­nity Cen­ter. Call­ers told CPD that the shots came from the back­seat of a brown or sil­ver Chevy Im­pala, and the shooter was de­scribed as a black male wear­ing a white T-Shirt and long pants with dread­locks.

When of­fi­cers ar­rived on scene, a large crowd of what was re­ported as 1525 year olds had gath­ered out in the street in front of the com­mu­nity cen­ter. Wit­nesses in the crowd gave po­lice the same de­scrip­tion of the ve­hi­cle and shooter as call­ers had. Some wit­nesses iden­ti­fied the shooter as “JJ.” Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, JJ is known to CPD as “a sub­ject who is fre­quently armed and has been in­volved in sev­eral sit­u­a­tions in which gun­shots were re­port­edly fired.”

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, wit­nesses stated JJ fired sev­eral shots out of the ve­hi­cle and into the air Fri­day night. Wit­nesses also told of­fi­cers that they heard more gun­shots from the wood line be­hind the com­mu­nity cen­ter on the paths which lead to the ad­join­ing Green Acres neigh­bor­hood.

As of­fi­cers ar­rived on the scene they be­gan clear­ing out the groups gath­ered in front of the cen­ter, along with Hen­der­son, who was ask­ing ev­ery­one to leave. Hen­der­son told The News he was in con­tact with New­ton County Sher­iff Ezell Brown ear­lier that evening, in case any as­sis­tance was needed.

“If some­body went into the street and did some- thing, I don’t think you can hold me or the fa­cil­ity li­able for that,” Hen­der­son said.

Of­fi­cers re­port­edly strug­gled to get the streets cleared with small pock­ets of people con­tin­u­ing to loi­ter on Laseter Street and Pineview Drive. Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, a per­son in this group was con­ceal­ing a firearm. That per­son also iden­ti­fied JJ as the shooter, the re­ports said.

An­other large crowd was ar­gu­ing and re­fus­ing to dis­perse on Shadow Glen Court and Pine­nee­dle Drive, when of­fi­cers ar­rived to see people ar­gu­ing.

“Fi­nally, there was a re­ported ar­gu­ment on Pine­nee­dle Drive and Green­way Cove in which the com­plainant be­lieved that the sub­jects were about to start shoot­ing,” re­ports said. “In to­tal, it took ap­prox­i­mately two hours for the crowds to dis­perse and the loi­ter­ing/ ar­gu­ment com­plaints to cease in the Green Acres and Nel­son Heights com­mu­ni­ties.”

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, when of­fi­cers re­sponded to the ar­gu­ment, they no­ticed JJ, wear­ing blue jeans and a white T-shirt with his dreads pulled up on the top of his head. He re­port­edly told of­fi­cers that he was at the party and left in a sil­ver Im­pala, and he de­nied shoot­ing the gun.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­ports, JJ said the shooter was some­one by the name of “Key­boo,” an “O’Val­ley Boy.” CPD said the O’Val­ley Money Gang is an as­so­ciate gang of the Pac Man Gang.

An­other wit­ness also iden­ti­fied Key­boo as the shooter, and JJ was re­leased.

Re­ports state that the Pac Man Gang was listed on at least one so­cial me­dia post­ing as par­tially host­ing the event. Ear­lier in the day of the party, of­fi­cers were made aware of a so­cial me­dia post­ing about a party called “Bounce Dat Ass Part II,” sched­uled to be held at Nel­son Heights Com­mu­nity Cen­ter at 8 p.m. Fri­day.

CPD de­cided to put ex­tra of­fi­cers on pa­trol in the area of Laseter and Puck­ett streets for the du­ra­tion of the party to try and de­ter crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

Hen­der­son said he was not made aware of any gang ties or so­cial me­dia ad­ver­tis­ing.

“No­body called me un­til they were there,” Hen­der­son said. “Maybe if the po­lice gave me a heads up … I don’t know.”

Hen­der­son said this is the big­gest crowd the Nel­son Heights Com­mu­nity Cen­ter has hosted and he will ad­dress hav­ing an off-duty of­fi­cer at fu­ture events of this size at the next cen­ter board meet­ing.

“First of all we need to make sure they have at least an off-duty of­fi­cer that they pay for,” Hen­der­son said.

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