DECATUR — Police on the lookout for crime in a troubled Decatur neighborhood said they soon found it when they heard gunshots and saw two vehicles speeding away.

A sworn Decatur police affidavit said that happened in the area of Jasper and Main streets in the early morning hours of Sept. 4. On Tuesday night, following months of detective work, police arrested a 22-year-old Decatur man who had initially been questioned at the time of the gunfire.

The man was booked on preliminary charges of the aggravated discharge of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a felon, which are subject to review by the Macon County State’s Attorney’s office. Police said the man was a rear seat passenger in a car driven by a 19-year-old Decatur man who was arrested Friday and booked on preliminary charges of the reckless discharge of a firearm and fleeing and eluding police.

Writing in the affidavit, detective Christopher Kretsinger said witnesses described seeing the 22-year-old man with half his body leaning out of a car window and firing a handgun over the roof in a drive-by shooting of a house in the 1200 block of East Clay Street. The house and a car in front were hit with multiple bullets while three adults and three children younger than 5 were inside the building.

Kretsinger said police were patrolling in the area of Jasper and Main streets when they heard 10 to 15 gunshots at 1:13 a.m. and saw two cars coming from the 1200 block of East Clay. They gave chase, losing track of one vehicle but soon finding the other abandoned in the 2300 block of East Clay.

Police said a K-9 tracked from the vehicle and found a .25-caliber handgun behind a garage in the 2300 block of East Wood Street. The 22-year-old man emerged from under a porch nearby as officers were searching the area.

The man told police he had taken cover when he saw the vehicles speeding toward him and “felt someone might be after him." He said he had seen a friend of his who had been shot the previous night near Sedgwick and Jasper streets, but denied any knowledge of the drive-by gunfire outside the house.

Kretsinger said police later learned the man had been involved and had been firing the .25-caliber handgun. The man remained held in the Macon County Jail on Wednesday night, and no bond amount was available.

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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


Macon County Courts Reporter

Macon County courts reporter for the Herald & Review.

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