GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Investigators have identified the teen who was shot and killed at a house party in Gwinnett County early Saturday morning as 17-year-old Jahlah Branch of Lithonia. Branch was killed after an argument started among a group of people attending that party, police said.
Branch's father, Saviour, told FOX 5 News gun violence needs to be addressed.
“It has to stop. We have babies killing babies,” Saviour Branch said.
Branch's friends and teammates said he will be missed.
“He was really funny. He liked to joke around a lot,” Deon Jackson said.
“He was one of those people who never gave up no matter what it was,” LeAnthony Williams said.
Police were called to the home on Aviator Circle in the Snellville area at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday.
“The victim was dead from what appears to be a gunshot wound to the head,” said Cpl. Deon Washington of the Gwinnett County police.
Witnesses told police that about 100 people were at the house when the argument started. According to investigators, several people pulled out guns and started shooting. No one was immediately taken into custody.
Police are looking into whether the homeowners were at the house at the time of the shooting. Cpl. Washington said it was too early to say whether they would face any charges. "It's not illegal to have a party, but we are looking into why it got to the level of a homicide investigation," said Cpl. Washington.
Police spent the early morning hours talking to those who were at the party, trying to get more information. Officers asked parents of children who were attending the party to come forward.
A memorial has been set up for Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Anderson Park. Funeral arrangements are still being finalized.