In just a week, 17-year-old Sariah Wilcoxson was going to be on her way to military school.
She had gotten her GED and was looking forward to a change in her life, one that promised to take her away from a DeKalb County neighborhood that has seen its share of violence. School was supposed to be her ticket out of the Highlands at East Atlanta Apartments, where just last month a 4 year old was shot riding his Big Wheel.
Monday night, Sariah walked a friend to a nearby bus stop, then went on to a convenience store. She was on her way back home when, police say, she was shot repeatedly. She was left for dead on the sidewalk near the bus stop.
“Absolutely senseless,” her uncle Danny Wilcoxson told Channel 2 Action News. “She did not deserve this. Sariah never in trouble.”
Now DeKalb County police are looking for her killer or killers, and her family wants answers. They want to know not only how she died, but how the apartment complex and surrounding area has become so dangerous, her uncle said.
“I want to know how many deaths, rapes, armed robberies, murders go on right here,” Danny Wilcoxson said.
Passersby found Sariah’s body lying on a sidewalk in the 2000 block of Flat Shoals Road around 9 p.m., DeKalb police spokesman Maj. Steve Fore said Tuesday. In December, 4-year-old Jaquavious Landers was shot at the same apartment complex, not far from the bus stop where Sariah was found. The complex houses low-income and working-poor families who have had to live with the surrounding violence. Channel 2 reported the complex is sanctioned for those receiving Section 8 housing assistance and is under the jurisdiction of the Housing Authority of DeKalb County.
Investigators still don’t know what led to the teen’s death, Fore said. They are, however, looking for possible surveillance video from a nearby convenience store that may have captured images leading up to the shooting.
“Her life ended tragically, senselessly, shot down like a dog on the street and left to lay here,” Danny Wilcoxson said.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call DeKalb police.
Staff writer Lauren Foreman contributed to this article.