ROME, Ga. — Rome Police said they are looking for the suspect in the shooting death of a 26-year-old man outside an apartment on Saturday evening.

Officers responded to a shots fired call shortly before 5:30 p.m. on Cliff View Drive in Rome and discovered a black man suffering from a gunshot wound outside the apartments there.

Police said that lifesaving measures were started by a resident of the apartments, while they alerted responding personnel of the shooting at the location.

The victim, who was later identified as Jonathan Lynn Hull of Rome, was transported to Floyd Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Police said they are transporting him to the GBI Crime Lab for an autopsy.

Investigators said they have identified a suspect in the shooting as 18-year-old Joe Paul Atwater, from Rome. Atwater's location is not presently known, but police said he is to be considered dangerous.

joe paul atwater
Rome Police are looking for Joe Paul Atwater wanted on aggravated assault and felony murder charges for the shooting death of a 26-year-old man outside an apartment on Saturday, August 17, 2019.
Rome Police Department

According to Rome Assistant Police Chief Debbie Burnett, investigators have reason to believe the two men knew each other.

Warrants have been issued for Atwater for aggravated assault and felony murder in connection with the case.

The incident remains under investigation by the Rome Police Department to determine the initial cause for the altercation between the two men.

Anyone with information about Atwater is advised not to approach him, but to call 911 immediately. 


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