Man shot during 49ers game spat is not even a fan 

Bloodbath: Police say two men were shot in the parking lot of a Georgia Applebee’s by Donald Ayro, who police say was enraged by the victims’ cheering for the 49ers against the Saints on Saturday. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Bloodbath: Police say two men were shot in the parking lot of a Georgia Applebee’s by Donald Ayro, who police say was enraged by the victims’ cheering for the 49ers against the Saints on Saturday.

He took one for the team — and he is not even a fan.

The latest incident of sports-related fan violence connected to a San Francisco team involved a man who does not follow football and was merely cheering along with his friend at an Applebee’s restaurant in Georgia on Saturday, the victim’s devastated mother said Monday.

Chris Middleton, 30, remained in critical condition Monday at a hospital near Atlanta, a hospital spokeswoman said, after being shot following the game.

He and friend Corey Adams, also 30, were shot in the parking lot as they left the restaurant in Duluth, Ga., where they had watched the 49ers’ playoff win over the New Orleans Saints.

The alleged shooter, whom police have identified as convicted felon Donald Ayro, 31, is a Saints fan who allegedly became enraged that Middleton, Adams and Adams’ girlfriend were cheering for the Niners.

Middleton’s mother, Michelle Williams Gore, spoke with The SF Examiner on Monday, saying the suspect pointed his finger at Adams and Middleton before leaving the restaurant and said, “I’m going to get you. I’ve got something for you.”

Ayro waited in his pickup truck in the parking lot for nearly two hours, police said, then shot Middleton in the stomach and grazed Adams in the head with a bullet.

Gore said Adams is the football fan.

“Corey told me, ‘It was all me. I was the one having the conversation with the guy,’” Gore said. “Chris never said anything to agitate this guy.”

Ayro was drunk and out of control prior to the fight, Gore said, and Adams claimed the suspect had popped prescription pills while eating dinner.

Doctors told Gore her son was lucky that he had just eaten, as the food buffered the bullet to prevent more serious damage inside his body.

The incident followed a brutal beating in March outside Dodger Stadium involving Giants fan Bryan Stow, who is still recovering from an allegedly unprovoked attack involving two Los Angeles Dodgers fans.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

Correction: The original story identified the mother of the victim as Michelle Williams. Her full name is Michelle Williams Gore.

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