Shooting suspect

Joe Paul Atwater

Rome police are looking for 18-year-old Joe Paul Atwater in connection with the shooting death of a Rome man on Cliffview Drive.

Assistant Chief Debbie Burnett said Sunday an anonymous tip led police to an apartment complex in West Rome, "but it didn't pan out."

"From everything we've gathered he's probably left the county, but we'll continue to look," she said. "We have reason to believe he may be in the metro area."

Jonathan Lynn Hull, 26, of a Walnut Avenue address, was shot to death at around 5:30 p.m. Saturday outside 3 Cliffview Drive. Burnett said he and Atwater knew each other but investigators are keeping details under wraps for now.

Atwater, who lives on Chambers Street, is wanted on charges of aggravated assault and felony murder. He is considered dangerous and anyone who spots him is asked to call 911 immediately.

According to reports:

The initial call to 911 reported the sound of shots fired outside 3 Cliffview Drive. A resident found Hull on the ground, began rendering first aid, and alerted police that someone had been shot.

As police were clearing the scene for emergency responders, Hull's brother and several family members arrived. His brother pushed past officers and ran to Hull, but the group was escorted away.

Hull stopped breathing and was rushed to Floyd Medical Center, where Deputy Coroner Brent Whatley pronounced him dead. The body will be sent for autopsy at the GBI Crime Lab.

Anyone with information about Atwater or the shooting is asked to call the Criminal Investigation Division at 706-238-5121. The 24-hour anonymous Crime Line number is 706-236-5000. It is not traced.

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