Atlanta–Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr., announces the MURDER conviction, by a Fulton County Superior Court Jury, of CHAUNCEY POPE, 30, in the shooting death of 26-year-old DERRICK BROOKS.
On December 14, 2014, Chauncey Pope, the defendant, and Derrick Brooks, the victim, were inside an after-hours club on James Jackson Parkway in Atlanta. Pope was gambling and playing dice with others in the club, while the victim, Brooks, was standing nearby. The defendant claimed the victim was standing too close. Brooks’ close location aggravated Pope and led to a heated argument between the defendant and the victim. The argument inside the club spilled to the outside a short time later. As Brooks attempted to leave the club in a vehicle driven by a friend, even though he was unarmed, he said to the defendant, “I will kill you.” The defendant, Pope, then pulled a semi-automatic handgun from his waistband and shot Brooks in the leg. Once Brooks fell to the ground, Pope stood over him and fired another shot that struck the victim in the head. Pope trolling the earlier statement made by Brooks said,
“I should kill you!”
Brooks did not die at the scene that night, but he spent more than two months in hospice care before finally passing away on February 26, 2015. After Pope shot Brooks, he ran back into the club and bragged to those inside about shooting the victim. He reminded everyone at the club that night that he told the victim not to mess with him. Pope then fled the scene, and Atlanta Police continued to search for the defendant.
Just over a month after the shooting, on January 20, 2015, Pope was inside the same after-hours club when an Atlanta Police Department narcotics unit executed a search warrant unrelated to Brooks’ murder. During the execution of the search warrant, investigators discovered Pope was wanted for shooting Brooks, and he was taken into custody. Witnesses who were in the club the night Pope shot Brooks eventually came forward and connected the defendant to the crime.
A Fulton County Superior Court Jury found POPE guilty of MURDER, FELONY MURDER, AGGRAVATED ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON, POSSESSION OF A FIREARM DURING THE COMMISSION OF A FELONY, AND POSSESSION OF A FIREARM BY A CONVICTED FELON. POPE will be sentenced at a later date.
Judge Henry Newkirk, of the Superior Court of Fulton County, presided over the case. Senior Assistant District Attorney Lauren Travis prosecuted the case. She was assisted by Assistant District Attorney Robert Springer and Investigator Michael Green of the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. Detective K. Kleinhenz of the Atlanta Police Department was the Lead Investigator in the case.