DeKalb County Police have identified the two men who died following a shooting June 7 during a funeral held at Victory for the World Church in Stone Mountain. DeKalb County Public Safety Director William Miller said that Delmetrius Heard, 28, and Carlos Henderson Jr.,19, killed each other in an altercation that broke out on the church parking lot as the service for 19-year-old Ryan Guider was concluding.
Henderson got into a fight with a group of people outside the church and got a gun from his car; Heard then got a gun from his car, Miller said. Two other people, who were not identified by the police, were hurt in the skirmish, but police said their injuries were not life threatening.
Guider was shot to death May 26 in what police said may have been an act of vengeance. The DeKalb Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Squad and the U.S. Marshal’s Special Task Force are looking for Marcus D. Ventress, whom police believe shot Guider in retaliation for a burglary and assault of Ventress’ mother.
Ventress has had other legal encounters and should be considered armed and dangerous, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He served a six-year sentence in federal prison on a drug trafficking charge and has been imprisoned in Indiana on a cocaine possession charge. He is on parole and probation for these charges.
Miller said police have no evidence that the shootings were gang-related. However, some attending the service for Guider, including Craig Sharpe of Decatur, who identified himself as a friend of the Guider family, and Pastor Kenneth Samuel, said that the presence of several people wearing colorful bandanas at the funeral suggests that gangs were involved.
“We don’t know that gangs were involved, but we’re exploring every avenue,” Miller said.
“It’s so tragic to have violence after someone has just been laid to rest,” Samuel said. “The shooters didn’t take heed to my message of non-violence. We’ve got to find a better way. The message has to be peace. How could they have been listening and then have this happen?”