Teen killed in Clayton shooting was one of juvenile program’s 1st successes

Christian White (left) was one of the first teenagers hired out of the state Department of Juvenile Justice's F.R.E.S.H Start program. White was killed last week in a shooting in Clayton County.
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Christian White (left) was one of the first teenagers hired out of the state Department of Juvenile Justice's F.R.E.S.H Start program. White was killed last week in a shooting in Clayton County.

Credit: Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice

Credit: Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice

An 18-year-old boy was killed last week after someone opened fire on his sedan and he crashed into the side of a Clayton County mobile home.

Christian White was a manager at Slutty Vegan, the popular plant-based Atlanta burger spot owned by Pinky Cole. He was hired last year as part of a new initiative to provide jobs to current or former juvenile offenders and was one of its first success stories.

“It’s with a heavy heart that we share the untimely passing of a special Slutty family member, Christian White,” a spokesman for Cole said in a statement. “Christian ‘Duke’ White, came to us through the F.R.E.S.H start partnership with the Pinky Cole Foundation and Department of Juvenile Justice. Chris was an avid learner and quickly climbed the ranks from fry cook, to logistics to manager.”

The afternoon of May 10, White had plans to play basketball with a friend at the Hunter Ridge mobile home park in the Irondale area. He had just pulled into a parking space when the bullets started flying, according to a police report obtained Wednesday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

His 17-year-old friend told police he heard two gunshots after climbing out of White’s car. He ducked for cover, then took off running after White’s Nissan Altima began rolling toward a trailer on Crossbow Trail. It was only after the car crashed that the teen realized his friend was shot in the chest, according to the report.

The 17-year-old was “extremely emotional” when police arrived about 3:20 p.m., an officer said in the report.

“They was just shooting at us,” the friend told the officer. He said he saw a silver Chevrolet sedan leaving the area following the shooting, but he did not know who was driving it.

When White crashed, the 17-year-old yelled for help and was handed a sheet by a neighbor to help stop the bleeding until police and EMS took over, according to the report. White died after being taken to Southern Regional Medical Center.

According to the report, investigators found several rounds in the backseat of the Nissan, which belonged to White’s stepfather. The man told police he did not know anyone who would want to hurt his stepson.

No arrests have been announced in the case.

“Please keep his family and our employees in your prayers,” Cole’s spokesman said in the statement. “His infectious smile and friendliness will surely be missed.”

— Please return to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for updates.