Friends in Little Five Points mourn two murdered residents

ATLANTA -- Friends are talking about the final moments of two men murdered early Saturday in Atlanta's Little Five Points.

A small group of friends alternately share laughter then tears as they talk about Chay Kelsey, 32, and Joe Hruska, 33.

The two shared a house and were well-known faces around the small knit, eclectic community of Little Five Points.

"It's just so senseless and wrong, what happened to them," said friend Kahle Davis.

Davis was one of the last people to see Kelsey and Hruska as they left a local bar around 2:30 a.m. Saturday to walk home.

11Alive's Duffie Dixon obtained surveillance video from the bar that shows the two men holding the door open for other patrons and smiling.

Moments later, the two men were shot and killed in a parking lot behind the Vortex Bar and Grill. People nearby heard shots and discovered both men on the ground. Police have not shared a possible motive for the killings or any information about possible suspects.

Sasha Couture says Kelsey was her first friends when she moved to Little Five Points.

"He introduced me to everyone around here. Chay was just an incredibly gentle soul," said Couture.

Matty Anderson lived in the same house with the both Kelsey and Hruska.

"Joe was an incredible artist. We've got some of his work on the walls at the house. He was just always creating. He was a real bright light," said Anderson.

Atlanta Police are asking for the public's help as to whether anyone saw anything in the area behind the Vortex bar and grill and the clothing store The Junkman's Daughters in the wee hours of Friday night. It's a popular, often busy area of Little Five Points where locals say they have always felt safe.

"Unfortunately, people can come into a great neighborhood and ruin a good thing so we're being vigilant. We're getting new cameras installed at businesses in the area and brighter lights. We want to take back our neighborhood," said Davis.

In the meantime, Davis and others are holding a benefit for both men to help raise money for their families to cover funeral costs. It will be Saturday, March 20 at 8 p.m. at the Little Vinyl Lounge.


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