July 5th shooting

(submitted) The 4th of July weekend turned deadly in Tallassee after gunfire broke up a local gathering.

A man was killed in Tallassee on July 5 after gunfire erupted at a local gathering and two men have been charged with murder.

At approximately 8:30 p.m., Tallassee Police Department officers responded to a call about a shooting in the 600 block of North Johnson Street.

“Upon arrival, it was determined that a verbal altercation broke out at a family gathering that escalated into an exchange of gunfire,” police chief Matthew Higgins said.

According to Higgins, Julio Mercado, a 34-year-old Hispanic male from Florida, and a 34-year-old black male from Tallassee were struck. Both were transported to Baptist South in Montgomery and Mercado later died from his injuries.

An investigation identified two suspects who were taken into custody. Zan'guintavius Hughley, 18-years old, of Tallassee, was arrested the night of the shooting and Ladrequez Holloway, 19-years old, also from Tallassee was arrested through a joint effort of U.S. Marshals and Tallassee police after he fled the city, Higgins said.

Hughley and Holloway were charged with first-degree murder and first-degree assault and placed in the Tallapoosa County Jail.