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Teen siblings and an adult arrested for graduation party shooting


Marietta police on Friday announced three arrests in the death of Grayson Green, a 17-year-old teen who was gunned down at a graduation party. Green was killed on May 21, 2022, at the entrance to the Walton Village apartments after the party grew out of hand.

According to police, two teenage suspects, siblings Ne’riyah Vargas and Ne’cquo Vargas, both 17, were arrested in Newport News, Virginia, on Tuesday. 

A third suspect, 21-year-old Tahkel Beverly Smart of Paulding County, was already in custody at the Douglas County Jail on charges related to a different deadly shooting earlier this year. 

All three are facing the same eight charges in Green’s death, including malice murder, aggravated assault and the associated gang charges. 

Beverly Smart was arrested and faces 80 charges in connection with a shooting in March outside a “Sweet 16″ house party near Douglasville where Samuel Moon, 15, a sophomore at Lithia Springs High, and Ajanaye Hill, 14, a freshman at Douglas County High, were killed.

It is unknown at this time how Beverly Smart and the Vargas siblings are connected to Green’s case. In a news release, a Marietta police spokesperson said “Detectives have worked countless hours gathering evidence and tracking down suspects. Today, we are thankful to report that the individuals responsible for (Green’s) death are being held accountable.” 

Green’s body was found lying on the pavement outside the gated entrance to the apartment complex with a shot to the chest. Surveillance footage showed a crowd of about 20 people fleeing the area as the first officers arrived and attempted to revive him. Green later died at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital.

Investigators would later learn the party had started at an Airbnb house outside the Marietta city limits but was shut down by the homeowner. That’s when the group moved to the Walton Village Apartment complex. Green was among the large group. Neighbors estimated about 200 teens were gathered in the street at the time. 

Marietta police used all methods to track down leads including calling on parents to speak with their children about what they might know is what helped them break the case, along with a $10,000 reward offered in August with the hopes of generating tips.

On May 29, Marietta police, with help from other agencies, located 17-year-old Ne’riyah Vargas and 17-year-old Ne’cquo Vargas in Virginia. The two Cobb County residents were arrested. A third person, 21-year-old Tahkel Beverly Smart, was also named a suspect and arrested in Douglas County.

All three are facing felony charges including malice murder and the corresponding violation of the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Marietta police say that although they have identified suspects in the case, the investigation remains ongoing. Said Police, “We are calling on parents to talk with their children and anyone that was there or has information regarding the shooting death of Grayson Green to please have the courage to reach out to us. Witnesses can contact us directly, or via Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta if they wish to remain anonymous.”

To contact the Marietta Police tip line call 770-794-6990 or Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta at 404-577-TIPS (8477).

Green’s family said they are “happy and grateful” after hearing about the arrests of Smart and the two others, but said they are still heartbroken. “We will not allow his legacy to be a tragedy,” the family wrote. 

A scholarship has been set up in memory of Green through the R&S Hannah Foundation. If you would like to support, you can find more information below: 

  • GGMH scholarship
    1750 Powder Springs Rd
    Marietta, GA 30064
    Ste 190269 

Here is the family’s full statement:

“This season has been especially hard. Trying to celebrate family and friends whose seniors are going to prom, graduating high-school and preparing for college. Grayson is not here to participate in any senior activities or milestones or anything else for that matter. His life was senselessly cut short.

“We released 43 lanterns for Memorial and Hope on May 21st, which marked one year since his murder and one year of waiting for answers and justice for Grayson.

“Then the call came of the arrests. We were happy and grateful; yet still heartbroken. Bittersweet news.

“We’d like to thank the Detectives and Marietta police department, GBI and those instrumental in the arrest for their continued hard work.

“We desire Justice for our son, Grayson. We will not allow his legacy to be a tragedy. We have established a Grayson Green Memorial Hero scholarship through the R&S Hannah Foundation. Last year they gave 3k in Memorial college scholarships and grants.


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