A 3-year-old boy was also struck by a bullet during the drive-by shooting
Atlanta–Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr., announces the GUILTY PLEAS of 25-year-old DEMETRIUS GORDON, 27-year-old DEWON LOVE, and 20-year-old ANDREVIUS WELCH for their roles in a drive-by shooting which caused the paralysis of a 5-year-old girl and a serious injury to a 3-year-old boy who were both inside of a bouncy house during a birthday party in South Fulton.
Today, July 29, 2019, Demetrius Gordon, Dewon Love, and Andrevius Welch pleaded guilty to the ENTIRE INDICTMENT before Fulton County Superior Court Judge Henry Newkirk. Newkirk sentenced Gordon and Love to 35 years in prison to serve 15 years. Judge Newkirk sentenced Welch to 30 years in prison to serve 15 years. By agreeing to plead guilty to the entire indictment, the Judge does not have to abide by any recommendation made by the District Attorney’s Office. The sentence is determined solely by the Court.
On April 20, 2017, a large group of individuals participated in a birthday party within the cul-de-sac along Buckhurst Drive in South Fulton. A DJ played music, adults cooked food, and children jumped inside of a bouncy castle which was set up in a grassy area inside the cul-de-sac. As the evening wore on, the bouncy castle began to fill with children from the neighborhood. Unbeknownst to the children, a number of the adults who attended the festivities were members of an Atlanta criminal street gang.
At 6:20pm, approximately 10 to 15 children were inside the bouncy castle when a grey Dodge Journey pulled into a driveway within the cul-de-sac. The Dodge Journey was driven by Andrevius Welch, Demetrius Gordon sat in the passenger seat, and Dewon Love occupied the back seat of the vehicle. After the Dodge Journey pulled into the driveway, several adults from the party approached the vehicle. The defendants inside the Dodge Journey were members of a rival Atlanta criminal street gang to those individuals who attended the birthday party.
As the partygoers approached the vehicle, they realized Gordon had a rifle in his lap. One of the individuals attempted to grab the weapon, at which point, the Dodge Journey backed out of the driveway and Gordon and Love began to fire upon those who were attending the party. Some of the partygoers returned fire, and during this exchange, a 5-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy who were inside the bouncy house were struck by bullets that came from the Dodge Journey. The 5-year-old girl was shot through the chest and abdomen which caused a vertebral fracture and spinal cord injury. The little girl was permanently paralyzed below her waist. The 3-year-old boy was shot in between the ribs which caused a flesh wound and permanent scarring.
“This must stop. When gang activity means that three and five-year-old children can’t play in a bouncy house celebrating a birthday without fear of serious injury or death, I submit gang activity has gone way beyond what should be tolerated. This must stop.
I hope that these guilty pleas and sentences today will provide some semblance of closure to the families of the injured and communicate a clear message to gang members that your crimes have moved beyond the ken of reasonableness and will not be tolerated by our community.”
Paul L. Howard, Jr.
Fulton County District Attorney
“This conviction is a prime example of what can happen when we work together, The City of South Fulton Police, The Fulton County Police, and the District Attorney’s Office, to reduce violent crime in our communities. South Fulton is a safer community today with the conviction of these individuals.”
Chief Keith Meadows
City of South Fulton Police
Gordon, Love, and Welch pleaded guilty to the 26 count indictment:
- Participation in Criminal Street Gang Activity (11)
- Aggravated Battery (3)
- Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon (3)
- Cruelty to Children 1st Degree (2)
- Possession of a Firearm During Commission of a Felony (1)
- Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon (3)
- Possession of MDMA
- Possession of a Firearm During Commission of a Felony (VGCSA)
- Possession of Marijuana Less Than One Ounce
Gordon (Counts 1-10, 12-21, 23-26)
Love (Counts 1-9, 11-20, 22)
Welch (Counts 1-9, 12-20)
Gordon and Love, sentenced to 35 years in prison to serve 15 years.
Welch was sentenced to 30 years in prison to serve 15 years.
Judge Henry Newkirk, of the Superior Court of Fulton County, presided over the case. The case was handled by the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office Gang Unit including Deputy District Attorney Cara Convery and Assistant District Attorney Rives Hiles, Investigator Charles Prescott and Victim-Witness Advocate Katelyn Pierson. Investigator Twanessa Howard from The Fulton County Police Department was the lead investigator in the case.