‘It was a gang hit’ 4 suspects in Douglasville house party murder in court

The Douglasville shooting left 2 teens dead and 7 injured
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 5:47 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2023 at 12:40 PM EDT
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DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The four suspects charged in a deadly shooting outside a sweet 16 birthday party in Douglas County went before a judge Thursday.

The March 4th shooting that the sheriff said was gang related left two teens dead and seven others injured. The sheriff said all of the victims were innocent bystanders.

Kingston Cottman, 17, was arrested Wednesday in Fulton County. He went before a judge Thursday to hear all of the offenses he is charged with including malice murder. His mother and other relatives were also in the courtroom.

“I just wanted to tell the families I’m sending my deepest condolences for any of the accusations that were made against my son toward their families,” Elise Clark, Cottman’s mother, said after the hearing.

“It’s not about my family, it’s about theirs and again I can’t believe any of this has happened, these are kids and I’m just truly sorry that all of this has happened,” she said.

Atlanta News First captured the moment Cottman was escorted into the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office after his arrest Wednesday. He remained silent when asked if he had anything to say.

“Found out it was a gang hit,” said Douglas County Sheriff Tim Pounds during a news conference Wednesday.

Sheriff Pounds said gang charges are pending against 18-year-old Timothy Coleman and 17-year-old twins, Chase and Chance McDowell, but that they’re already charged with malice murder, aggravated assault, and aggravated battery in connection with the party that ended with seven teenagers wounded and two dead. They also went before the judge Thursday for the malice murder charge.

Officials said the McDowell brothers attend Manchester High School and Coleman is currently not in school.

The victims were identified as 15-year-old Samuel Moon, a 10th grader at Lithia Springs High School, and 14-year-old AJ’anaye Hill, a 9th grader at Douglas County High School.

“The folks that were hurt and killed were not the intended target. They were innocent bystanders,” Pounds said.

During the news conference, the sheriff showed the gun that officers confiscated during Coleman’s arrest in Cobb County. The twins were arrested when they came to the sheriff’s office, he said.

“They are so young, and they’ve thrown their life away,” said Chanelle White, the mother of victim AJ’anaye Hill.

White was in the courtroom Wednesday morning for the suspects’ first appearance.

“I looked them dead in their face. They looked me in my face kind of, but their head was kind of down,” White said. “It’s definitely tough. It’s a tough situation, but justice needs to be served to the max.”

The sheriff had a message for parents county-wide: “Don’t try to be your children’s friends.”

“These kids are so young to be committing such horrible crimes. And once again, it comes from home raising. You’ve got to go back to being parents,” said the sheriff.

There’s a $40,000 reward being offered in this case, thanks in part to money approved by the county commission. However, according to the sheriff, the tipsters who’ve come forward so far said they don’t want the money. They just want justice.

The four suspects are in jail with no bond.



2 teens dead, 7 injured near Douglasville house party with more than 100 teens