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Officer: 'Bad blood' sparked massacre
Teens mourn deaths of their friends in Forsyth County
By STEPHEN GURR
Times regional staff

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Jason Samuel McGhee, a part-time firefighter was fired Monday by Forsyth County.


Frank A. Ortegon had assault charges dismissed nearly two years ago.


Marcin W. Sosniak was unemployed and living with his mother.






Shock and dismay turned to mourning Tuesday as friends gathered to pay respects to two teens shot to death in a Sunday night rampage that also left a woman dead and four other people injured.

About 20 friends of 15-year-old South Forsyth High School student Billy Osment and 17-year-old Forsyth Academy student Kyle Jones gathered for a candlelight vigil Tuesday at the house where they died off Ronald Reagan Boulevard.

The teens declined to comment, asking members of the media to leave.

The conditions of three of the surviving shooting and stabbing victims were upgraded to fair Tuesday, while an 18-year-old girl remained in critical condition at Grady Memorial Hospital's trauma center with a gunshot wound to the head.

Forsyth County Sheriff's officials said Mariel Elizabeth Hannah may have suffered permanent brain damage.

John Hatcher, 19, who authorities say was shot repeatedly, was in fair condition at North Fulton Medical Center, as was stabbing victim Matt Brown.

Clifford Bartlett, a 17-year-old senior at South Forsyth High School, was said to be conscious and talking Tuesday, according to hospital officials. His mother, 56-year-old Lynn Bartlett, died of a gunshot wound to the head in Sunday's attack.

The funeral for Osment, of Suwanee, was scheduled for today at Cumming's Church of the Good Shepherd.

Kevin Contardi, a South Forsyth teacher who coached Billy Osment on the school's varsity wrestling team described him as "always a real polite kid."

"Whenever I asked him a question, he always answered with a, 'Yes, sir,' or a, 'No, sir,'" Contardi said.

" I know there were a few instances where if I had something I needed to have done, he would always stay after school and help get it done."

Contardi said Billy Osment had several close friends on the wrestling team and at the school.

"He will be missed," the coach said.

More details about the suspects in the shooting emerged Tuesday as they prepared to make their first appearance before a magistrate this morning on charges of murder and aggravated assault.

Jason Samuel McGhee, 25, was attending firefighter recruit school at the Cherokee County Fire Department and had worked as a part-time firefighter for the Forsyth County Fire Department before he was fired Monday.

He lived with his parents on Little Mill Road. McGhee had no previous criminal record in Forsyth County except for a misdemeanor bad check charge in 1999.

Frank Ortegon, 23, a native of San Antonio, worked as a sprinkler technician for Cintas fire protection services and lived alone at a Pilgrim Mill Road home.

He had previously been charged with aggravated assault in 2004, but the charge was dismissed in July of that year after authorities could not find the reported victim, according to court records.

Court documents detailing the assault allegations were not available immediately.

Marcin Waldemar Sosniak, 21, originally from Phoenix, apparently was unemployed and living with his mother on Montgrove Glen. He had no criminal record in Forsyth County.

Authorities have said they believe the men were snorting or smoking cocaine prior to knocking at the door of the two-story wood frame home at about 9:45 p.m. Sunday, where they thought they could find more.

Investigators have said one of the suspects was surprised to see a person inside the house whom he believed had wronged him in the past.

"There was bad blood there," said Sheriff's Lt. Col. Gene Moss.

The men left the house and returned about 15 minutes later with a handgun and a knife and ambushed the occupants, authorities have said.

In the first 12 hours after the attack, sheriff's officials searched the suspects' homes and impounded McGhee's red Ford F-150 pickup truck.

Authorities have declined to talk about what evidence they collected from the homes and the crime scene, but an incident report said a black knife sheath was found covered in blood on a sofa in the house.

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Originally published Wednesday, March 22, 2006