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No arrest yet in L5P shooting

While some neighbors call incident a tragic fluke, others cite spike in muggings

Terry Williams made the walk from the Euclid Avenue Yacht Club to his nearby Seminole Avenue apartment countless times. He was a regular at the popular blue-collar bar, and a former bartender there.

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Shortly after midnight on May 22, Williams and an out-of-town guest left the bar, in the heart of Little Five Points, and headed toward Williams' home, according to EAYC bartender Gino Hallidy. They were almost there when a man stopped to ask them for a light, then demanded cash, according to an Atlanta police report. Before Williams or his friend were able to comply, the man shot Williams once in the head.

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Williams, who is in his late 30s, died on May 29 at Grady Memorial Hospital from his wound. Atlanta police officer James Polite tells CL that investigators do not yet have a suspect in the shooting.

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The quirky, close-knit and typically tolerant Little Five Points neighborhood has been spared any high-profile crimes since 2002, when three street kids were charged with a hate crime for the savage, daytime beating of Idris Golden and his brother, Che. The attackers yelled racial slurs at the Goldens, who are black, while attacking them, witnesses said. The three later pleaded guilty.

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Neighborhood activist Don Bender says he doesn't believe the recent shooting indicates a trend: "It certainly is the most extreme thing that's happened here in many years."

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According to Hallidy, about a half dozen EAYC patrons and local employees, himself included, were victims of attempted muggings in Little Five from September 2006 to February 2007. EAYC employees had grown concerned enough to put up fliers warning about those attacks.

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"From where I'm standing now," Hallidy told CL by phone, standing in front of the bar, "I can see four of them."