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Man wanted for murder in the shooting of innocent bystanders near nightclub

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One innocent bystander was killed and another wounded last month when an argument among patrons of a nightclub ended with gunfire in Athens. Now police said they have identified one of the people suspected of shooting the men and they are hoping the public can provide them with the information to catch him.

On Monday, police issued warrants charging Corey Antwan Blount, 33, of Atlanta, with felony murder, malice murder, two counts of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, according to the Athens-Clarke County police.

Blount, who is also wanted in Fulton County for probation violation and traffic offenses, is also being charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, Major Mark Sizemore said.

“Information obtained clearly indicates that the victims in this senseless act of violence were innocent bystanders and played no role in triggering the assault,” Sizemore said.

Derrick Merritt, and Jamaris Walter, both 22 of Athens, were shot while standing in a vacant parking lot with other patrons following the closing of a nearby nightclub, police have said. Merritt died as a result of the shooting and Walter is recovering from his injuries following the attack.

The incident happened around 2:40 a.m. on May 10, police said. That morning officers responded to 1720 Commerce Road and found two men suffering from gunshot wounds in the parking lot, Sizemore has said.

Officers rendered aid until EMS arrived and both men were transported by ambulance to the hospital where Merritt succumbed to his injuries, Sizemore said. It’s unclear if Walter was still in the hospital Tuesday, but police said he is still recovering from his injuries.

Blount is a 5 feet, 11 inch tall black male who weighs 210 pounds and has a tattoo covering his left forearm, police said.

Anyone with information concerning the shooting or the whereabouts of Blount is asked to contact the Athens-Clarke County Police Department's Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (706)613-3342. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those individuals responsible for this crime.