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17-year-old to face prosecution as adult in 2021 shooting attack that targeted Austin-East students

Ahmad J. Gatlin first was charged as a juvenile. His case has been moved to Knox County custody for prosecution as an adult.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A 17-year-old Knoxvillian is accused of helping two juvenile gunmen as they tried in January 2021 to shoot and kill two Austin-East students leaving school.

Ahmad J. Gatlin, formerly a Fulton High School student, was transferred on April 27 from juvenile court to face prosecution as an adult in Knox County, records show. He's now being held in Knox County custody.

Gatlin is alleged to have joined Deondre Davis, now 17, and Rashan Jordan, now 15, in a shooting that started outside Austin-East the afternoon of Jan. 14, 2021. Gatlin and Davis were 16 at the time; Jordan was 14.

The trio is accused of ambushing a teen girl and her boyfriend, John-John Mathis, as they left the school in a vehicle and chasing them in East Knoxville. The victims fled to an Exxon gas station at Cherry Street and Magnolia Avenue where the gunfire continued.

The gunmen were in a stolen Honda, court testimony has shown.

The girl has previously testified that she suffered glass in an eye and an arm wound. Mathis survived the January 2021 attack but was slain in August 2021 in Lonsdale in a case that remains unsolved.

Davis and Jordan also are accused of murdering Austin-East student Stanley Freeman Jr., 16, on the afternoon of Feb. 12, 2021, as he left school.

In juvenile court, Gatlin faced petitions charging him with among other things attempted first-degree murder, reckless endangerment, and possession of marijuana. In the drug petition, authorities say in January 2021, they found in Gatlin's bedroom 113 grams, or about 4 ounces, of marijuana along with $2,400 in cash.

Credit: KCSO
Rashan Jordan, who has been transferred from juvenile court to face prosecution in Knox County Criminal Court.

Jordan has been transferred from juvenile court to face prosecution in Criminal Court in Freeman's killing among other crimes.

Co-defendant Davis is set to appear next week before Juvenile Court Judge Tim Irwin to hear his fate.

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