2 killed, 8 injured during violent July 4 holiday weekend in Atlanta

Atlanta police investigated eight shootings over the holiday weekend, including one that killed a 14-year-old.

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Atlanta police investigated eight shootings over the holiday weekend, including one that killed a 14-year-old.

While many Atlantans were watching fireworks around the July 4 holiday, some found themselves dodging gunfire during another violent weekend in the city.

Atlanta police responded to at least eight shootings — including one that killed a 14-year-old boy and another that left a man dead — between nightfall Friday and daybreak Monday, according to data released by the department.

On Friday, Atlanta police Chief Rodney Bryant opened the holiday weekend with a news conference discussing how his department planned to tamp down weekend crime ahead of the AJC Peachtree Road Race and Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.

“The Atlanta Police Department will have a strong contingency out to monitor the race,” he said, adding that the department would open up its Joint Operation Command Center to surveil the event. “We anticipate it being a safe event going forward. The uniqueness of July 3 is this will be Game 6 in Atlanta, so we anticipate a large number of people in our downtown space. We have the resources and partnerships available to respond to any incidents.”

While both major events went without incident, eight people in the city were taken to hospitals with gunshot wounds and two were killed during the weekend.

The first of the shootings happened about 2 a.m. Saturday along Marietta Street, Atlanta police said. Investigators said a man was shot by another man during an argument over a phone. He was alert when he was taken to a hospital.

Then, about 6:20 p.m., two men were taken to a hospital after they were shot in the hands during separate but related shootings. Officers were first sent to the fire station on Lee Street after one of the victims walked in with a gunshot wound. While there, police learned of a second gunshot victim in the 900 block of Dimmock Street.

The first fatal incident happened just after 10 p.m. Saturday after a brawl broke out in the 600 block of McAfee Street. Nearly 50 teenagers were present, and several were running away from the scene when police arrived, Deputy Chief Charles Hampton said.

As officers worked to clear the other teens from the area, they found a 14-year-old boy unresponsive with a gunshot wound, Hampton said. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, but did not survive.

Another 14-year-old and a 15-year-old who were struck by the gunfire were taken to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston with minor injuries, police said.

A 17-year-old was taken to police headquarters for questioning after officers found two handguns on him. He was charged with possessing a firearm while under the age of 18, Atlanta police spokesman Officer Steve Avery confirmed Wednesday.

“This does not clear the homicide, which is still under investigation,” he said.

Hours later, police were sent to another fatal shooting, this time at a location along William H. Borders Drive. When officers arrived about 1:15 a.m. Sunday, they found a man with multiple gunshot wounds, police said. He was taken to a hospital but died of his injuries. His name has not been released.

About 5:45 a.m., officers were sent to investigate a shooting in the area of Pine and Courtland streets. The victim told officers he had been walking near the intersection when a suspect got out of a car, shot him and ran away. He was stable when he was taken to a hospital.

About 3 p.m., a man was taken to a hospital with a gunshot wound after he was struck during an argument. Officers were sent to the 1000 block of Martin Street to investigate a person shot call and found the injured victim, police said. Investigators determined he was hurt when a shootout broke out between “multiple males.”

“It is unknown at this time if the gunshot victim was directly involved,” police said. The victim was stable when he was taken to a hospital.

Later, a police officer on patrol on Fairburn Road was flagged down by a woman who said a man had been shot multiple times. The man was lying on the ground with multiple wounds when the officer located him about 9 p.m., police said. He told police that a dark-colored sedan had pulled up next to him and someone inside opened fire.

The victim said he did not know the suspect. He was taken to a hospital.

About an hour later at 10:15 p.m., police were notified that a building on Stratford Road was damaged by gunfire after two groups of men got into an argument. No one was injured in the shooting.

All of the incidents remain under investigation.

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