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Investigator testifies in Gainesville shooting involving 17-year-old suspect
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Quaran Jackson enters Hall County Magistrate Court Monday, April 3, 2023, for a committal hearing. Jackson, 17, is accused of shooting Gabriel Ledford, 19, of Gainesville, near the 3000 building at Summit Place at Limestone Place around 5 p.m. on Jan. 9. 2023. - photo by Scott Rogers

A Gainesville teenager told law enforcement he was shot at with his own gun, leading to serious injuries that almost cost him his life, according to court testimony.

Quaran Jamir Jackson, 17, of Gillsville, appeared Monday, April 3, in Magistrate Court with attorney Chloe Owens in an attempted murder case.

Jackson also faces charges of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, aggravated battery, aggravated assault and armed robbery from the Jan. 9 shooting in Gainesville. He was arrested a month after the shooting.

Gainesville Police Investigator Brad Raper said it happened around 4:51 p.m. Jan. 9 on Shades Valley Lane. Officers were called out to a person who had been shot, finding Gabriel Ledford, 19, inside his mother’s apartment.

Ledford was transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in critical condition after losing a “tremendous amount of blood,” Raper said.

“They gave him multiple (transfusions) of blood to bring him back,” Raper testified. “It was told to me that he would not have made it had he not been so close to the trauma center, given the amount of blood that he was losing.”

Five shell casings were found at the scene, all 9 mm caliber.

Ledford said he was outside waiting for a friend to come over when he was approached by a vehicle pulling up behind him.

The 19-year-old said a person jumped out and grabbed his backpack.

“Part of Gabriel’s statement was he had a gun in his backpack, that they got out, they tried to take his phone,” Raper said. “They tried to take his gun from him and they ultimately just took his phone and left the scene with his phone. But he claimed they took his gun away from him and shot him with his own gun as well as another gun that they had brought.”

Ledford said he did not know who they were, Raper said.

Ledford’s gun was found at the residence, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was able to determine there were two different firearms used.

The other gun has not been found, the investigator said. The stolen cellphone is also still missing despite attempts to ping and call it.

After determining who had the car, law enforcement arrested another 17-year-old Gainesville man following a traffic stop.

Raper said that man told him a story that the investigator has since debunked, but a search of his phone found a message between him and Jackson roughly an hour after the shooting.

Raper said Ledford sent a name and a picture of the person who he thought it was, identifying Jackson, though he wasn’t completely certain.

Raper obtained search warrants for Jackson’s phone records, and geolocation records put Jackson’s phone at the scene at the time of the crime.

After getting a more current photo of Jackson, Raper said Ledford immediately identified Jackson.

Following Raper’s testimony, the prosecution brought Hall County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Mark Newberry, who took out two warrants accusing Jackson of breaking into vehicles.

Newberry said both break-ins happened in Jackson’s neighborhood.

Owens focused her questions on the evidence at the scene and how Jackson was identified as the suspect.

Raper said they have not found witnesses to the incident itself, but people heard the gunshots and saw the car driving away.

Owens argued that the ID of Jackson as the suspect is tenuous and circumstantial. She also felt there was not sufficient evidence of intent to commit murder in an attempt to have the charge dismissed.

Judge Michelle Hall moved all charges on to Superior Court.