At least a dozen people were shot, including one fatally, in Atlanta overnight during a slew of incidents that happened in just over 12 hours.
The violence began when a man wielding a knife was shot by an off-duty Georgia State Patrol trooper about 5:30 p.m. Saturday at a gas station, and the final incident occurred Sunday morning when three residents were injured when shots were fired at a home.
This weekend’s shootings come as police and city leaders strive to find solutions after last year’s rise in deadly crime. The Atlanta Police Department investigated 157 homicides in 2020, up from 99 in 2019 and the most in more than two decades.
The surge led to an outcry from rattled residents and business owners. That led to public assurances from Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, interim Police Chief Rodney Bryant and newly elected Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis that dealing with violent crime is in the forefront of their efforts in this new year.
On Saturday in the first shooting, a state trooper was getting gas at the BP on Boulevard near I-20 when he saw one man chase another into the store and followed them, according to the GBI, which is investigating the incident.
“Witnesses report that one man was armed with a knife and was attempting to stab the other man,” GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said in a news release. “The trooper gave commands for the man to drop the knife. The trooper left the store, and the man with the knife followed him.”
Authorities said the man advanced toward the trooper as he backed away and told him to drop the weapon, prompting the trooper to shoot the man. The man, who has not been identified, was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in critical condition.
Less than three hours later, a man was found shot to death, Atlanta police said.
Investigators discovered the man’s body at the intersection of Memorial Drive and Moreland Avenue about 8 p.m., officials said. Authorities believe the man was shot during an argument over a car.
Police were next sent to the 500 block of Hank Aaron Drive to investigate a triple shooting. When officers arrived about 2 a.m., they found a woman who had a gunshot wound, Atlanta police spokesman Sgt. Jarius Daugherty said. She was stable when she was taken to a hospital.
Officers learned that two men had both arrived at the hospital with gunshot wounds related to the same incident. Both were stable.
“The preliminary investigation has revealed that a drug transaction taking place between two of the victims when at some point shots were fired from a third party,” Daugherty said. No other details were available.
Half an hour later, officers were called to investigate a shooting at the Gold Room nightclub on Piedmont Road, Daugherty said.
Investigators said a fight had broken out inside the club about 2:30 a.m. During the fight, a man was shot in the chest. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in unknown condition.
Another shooting at a nightclub sent three people to the hospital hours later.
Officers were sent to the Blue Flame Lounge on Harwell Road about 4:30 a.m., where they found three men with gunshot wounds outside, Daugherty said. All three men were stable when they arrived at the hospital.
Investigators determined that a group of unknown suspects were traveling north on Harwell Road inside of a car. At some point, they stopped outside of the lounge and fired “several shots” in the direction of the club, Daugherty said.
Three other people were taken to a hospital after being shot inside of a home in the 1000 block of Peeples Street.
Two of the victims were stable after the shooting, which happened about 6:45 a.m., police said. The third was seriously injured.
Investigators said the three victims were injured when “multiple shots” were fired into the home.
No arrests were made in any of the incidents, all of which remain under investigation.
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Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com