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13 teens, adults charged in connection with Kennesaw murder

A fight between two groups of young people led to the shooting death of a man, police said.

KENNESAW, Ga. — Thirteen people, including six juveniles, are facing felony murder charges in connection with the death of a 23-year-old man in Kennesaw on Sunday night.

According to a release Wednesday from Shenise McDonald with the Cobb County Police Department, officers responded to a call for police and medical services at an apartment complex off of George Busbee Parkway in Kennesaw on Sunday at about 10:19 p.m.

When they arrived, McDonald said, officers found a man with what appeared to be a gunshot wound in his neck. The man, later identified as 23-year-old Devere Blake, died at the scene, McDonald said. As more officers arrived, they found several vehicles trying to leave the area where the man was found, she said.

Officers stopped several of the vehicles to determine whether or not any of the people were involved in the shooting, McDonald said.

Eventually, McDonald said, all of the people in the stopped cars were taken to the Cobb County Crimes Against Persons office for police interviews. Over the course of the interviews, she said, investigators learned that the shooting happened due to a fight between two groups at a nearby gas station.

During the fight, McDonald said, someone from one of the groups pulled out a gun and pointed it toward the other group. As a result, they left the area. She said the two groups agreed to meet later at the apartment complex to continue their fight.

McDonald said Blake -- who was armed with a shotgun -- showed up with several others. A short time later, she said, the rival group showed up, armed with handguns.

During the fight, a juvenile shot Blake in the neck, McDonald said, which is what caused his death. Right after the shooting, one person who was involved in the fight waited with Blake, she said, while everyone else tried to leave and hide any evidence.

"I heard guys screaming and yelling, and a gunshot," said Deborah Roquet, one of the apartment complex residents who lives in a building at the scene of the shooting. "One gunshot, and it was loud, it echoed, you know, inside the breezeways."

Roquet said she called 911 and ran outside.

"And there was a man lying across two cars that were parked there," she said, pointing at the parking lot outside her door. "He wasn't moving. He was bleeding from the neck."

She said young people were running away.

"And they were young, young like 15, 16 year old teens, five of them, they ran and got in the car and the car screamed off."

Residents of the complex ran to try to help the man, and first responders tried to revive him, "but it was too late," Roquet said, "he bled out."

Two of the young people did stay behind, she said, "his younger brother and a friend who were here with him, and he (the brother) was all upset and crashed his phone down, and they were just yelling."

According to McDonald, investigators said video images from the gas station, along with witnesses from the apartment complex, indicated that everyone involved were willing participants in the events that took place.

McDonald said that the juvenile who was responsible for the shooting was arrested on Monday and charged with aggravated assault and felony murder.

She said that six adults -- all between the ages of 17 and 21 -- along with four other juveniles were arrested and charged on Monday with party to the crime of aggravated assault and felony murder.

On Tuesday, additional warrants were issued for a 17-year-old and a sixth juvenile for party to the crime of aggravated assault and felony murder.

Anyone with information related to the incident is asked to call the Cobb County Crimes Against Persons Unit at 770-499-3945.