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CONYERS — A Covington man was arrested on Oct. 29 in connection with a drive-by shooting that occurred in the parking lot of a Salem Road gas station. No one was injured in the incident.

Randall Johnson, 28, is facing multiple charges, including six counts of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime and aggressive driving.

According to reports from the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office, the incident began about 12:25 a.m. at the Shell station at 2130 Salem Road in Conyers, just off I-20. Deputies responded to a call of shots fired. When they arrived, the store clerk said that a blue Dodge Avenger had run into the back of Chevrolet Trailblazer parked at the store, and that two people got out of the Avenger and fled. She said shots came from a third vehicle passing the store, with one shot striking the front window. The clerk then ran into the office and locked herself inside for safety.

Two men were in the game room in the store at the time of the incident, but both said they did not see or hear anything.

A driver passing the scene at the time of the incident gave a statement to investigators. He said he had just exited I-20 onto Salem Road and as he approached the traffic light, he saw the Avenger and a black Mazda go by at high rates of speed. The Avenger pulled into the station parking lot and the witness said someone in the Mazda fired two or three shots toward the Avenger, which then hit the back of the parked vehicle. The witness said he saw two people get out of the Avenger and run. He added that the Mazda went about 200 yards down the road and did a U-turn, then came back and fired several more shots at the Avenger before turning east onto I-20. The witness said when he returned to the gas station, the Avenger was gone.

Investigators were able to view surveillance video footage of the incident. It showed the two vehicles on Salem Road, with the Avenger turning into the parking lot and hitting the parked vehicle. The video showed a male driver and female passenger exiting the vehicle, with the female running into the store and the male running by the front door. The male started to walk back to the door when a lightbulb shattered from a bullet striking it, and the male turned and ran toward the rear of the store.

After the Mazda had gone by the second time, the male and female returned to the Avenger, got back in it, and drove off southbound on Salem Road.

Investigators found the bullet hole in the window of the store and two shell casings on Salem Road in front of the store. Further investigation led to the arrest of Johnson on Oct. 29.

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Senior Reporter

Born and raised in Decatur, Ga. Graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Ga. in 1979 with B.A. in Communications. Worked in community newspapers for 26 years. Started at Rockdale Citizen/Newton Citizen in January 2016.

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