1 dead, 2 injured in Midtown shootout involving off-duty officer

Three people were struck in a shootout involving Atlanta police outside of a lounge in Midtown Sunday morning. One of the victims died, according to investigators.

Atlanta police told FOX 5 the gunfire, which happened around 3 a.m., stemmed from an argument between a security guard and patron at Up Lounge near Pine Street and Piedmont Avenue. The disagreement escalated, and people began brandishing weapons, leading to gunfire, according to Deputy Chief Timothy Peek.

An off-duty Atlanta police officer was working at the lounge and quickly tried intervening, according to APD. Peek said that officer also fired his weapon, prompting the GBI's involvement in the investigation. It's unclear whose shots struck who, at this time.

Sign up for FOX 5 email alerts

Police said the patron, identified as 25-year-old Douglasville resident Frederick Demor Asberry, died on the scene. Officials say an autopsy on Asberry's body will be performed by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Two other individuals, 33-year-old Byron Heron and 30-year-old Andrew Smith were rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital. As of Sunday afternoon, Heron is still in critical condition. Smith has been released after treatment. 

Investigators are searching for at least one other person they believe was involved but could not provide a description. In the meantime, police are gathering surveillance video from nearby restaurants, hotels, and apartment complexes.


Peek said people's tendency to turn to weapons is concerning recently, citing the deadly shootout last Friday on Trinity Avenue that resulted in numerous deaths.

"It's very disturbing," Peek told FOX 5's Emilie Ikeda. "When you have law enforcement there, we're a resource. We want people to use us and depend on us, so we can help resolve those issues...It seems as though there are some individuals that are brazen enough to still deal with things on their own."

The intersection is expected to remain closed into the afternoon.

This is the 85th officer-involved shooting investigated by the GBI in 2020.

Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.