According to police in Gwinnett County, Georgia, a New Orleans Saints fan shot two men rooting for the San Francisco 49ers in the parking lot of an Applebee's restaurant in Duluth, Ga. shortly after San Francisco eliminated New Orleans in the NFC Divisional playoff on Saturday.
According to reports, a man named Christopher Middleton was shot in the stomach and is in critical condition, while his friend Corey Adams suffered a minor wound to the head. Adams was treated at the scene and then was taken to identify Ayro, who police apprehended driving south away from the scene. Ayro had allegedly become upset with the 49ers fans for cheering inside the restaurant and then attacked them as they left.
Gwinnett County Police arrested Donald Ray Ayro, 31, after he fled the scene. He was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Unfortunately, fan violence is an increasingly pervasive problem. Just a few days before this incident, Philadelphia police charged the instigator in the beating of a fan following the NHL's Winter Classic between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers. Unlike this Georgia incident, many incidents of fan violence occur at a sporting event or in the vicinity.
Perhaps the most notable incident of fan violence also affected a fan of a San Francisco team. On opening day of the 2011 baseball season, a San Francisco Giants fan named Bryan Stow was critically beaten outside Dodger Stadium following Los Angeles' 2-1 victory.