ATLANTA (AP/WAOK) – DeKalb County police have identified two people who were fatally shot in the parking lot at a church in metro Atlanta after a funeral service. The two deceased have been identified as Demetrius Heard and Carlos Henderson, Jr.
Dekalb County spokeswoman Mekka Parish says authorities are continuing to investigate the incident that took place Thursday at Victory For the World Church at 1170 N. Hairston Road. The church was founded in 1987 by Rev. Kenneth Samuels.
The shootings occurred where a 1 p.m. funeral for Ryan Devon Guider of Decatur was taking place.
Authorities say gunfire erupted as nearly 500 people were leaving the funeral service.
According to the AJC, Guider, 19, was fatally shot May 26. Authorities said his killer was Marcus D. Ventress, 28, who allegedly shot Guider in retaliation for burglarizing Ventress’ home.
Law enforcement sources told investigators that Guider “burglarized the home of Ventress, stealing jewelry, cash and drugs and punching Ventress’ mother,” DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Adrion Bell said Monday.
Investigators believe that Ventress left the church with others in a vehicle and was involved in the altercation following the funeral.
Parish says police do not have a suspect in custody yet.
Dekalb County CEO Burrell Ellis spoke to reporters Thursday afternoon and said, “We’ve really got to step up our understanding and send a message to our young people how much and how precious we value life, how important it is to work things out and this is not the way.”
Ventress’s criminal history includes multiple arrests between 2002 and 2009 in Elkhart County. Guider had also been in and out of jail since 2010.
More in this report from Fox 5 Atlanta