Two teenagers have died at large house parties that got violent with little warning in the last week. The latest, in Conyers, Ga., where 18-year old Dequavious Mapp was shot in the chest and died early Sunday morning. One week earlier, 18-year old Bobby Tillman was beaten to death at a house party in Douglas County.
Conyers Police Chief Gene Wilson has a new plan to break up parties that get out of control before someone gets hurt. “I spoke to the sheriff and my staff. From this point on we’re going to take a zero tolerance stand,” said Chief Wilson. “Every violation, from noise to parking to zoning, we’re going to make it. We don’t mind you having fun, but you’re not going to take over our neighborhoods.”
Wilson told JJIE.org the community is tired of big house parties, and some of them are circumventing laws. He says, “It seems like the parties are getting larger. With social media the chance of someone showing up uninvited has increased. You put into the mix a meanness – I’m not sure what it is.”
Two 17-year old boys, Tevin Williams and James Edwards, are being held on weapons charges while police wait for ballistics tests to show which gun fired the fatal shot.
Homeowner Javoy Jones is facing a rarely enforced violation called keeping a disorderly house. Wilson explained, “This guy took the bottom floor of his house and emptied it of furniture. He was charging people to get in.” The chief adds, “He hired ‘security.’ One of his guards was a high school senior armed with a shotgun.”
Police had their hands full in Rockdale County on Saturday night. About two miles from the scene of the shooting, a second party was underway, with kids wearing rain boots and thongs, based on the hip-hop hit by EDUBB. It drew an estimated 200 teens between 14 and 17 years old.
Wilson warns parents to be responsible, and kids to understand where they're going and who's going to be there, because "things can turn dangerous very quickly."