At Atlanta City Council meeting, residents voice frustrations over 13-year-old’s death

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Several Atlanta residents told the City Council’s Public Safety Committee that enough is enough, just days after another child was fatally shot in their community.

Thirteen-year-old Deshon Dubose was leaving the Cascade Family Skating rink on Saturday night when he was hit by multiple gunshots. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Investigators believe he was with a group of teenagers who were at the rink prior to the shooting.

“I was out there this weekend and watched little Deshon get killed,” said resident Duwon Robinson at Monday’s council committee meeting. “It’s not the police fault...Cascade Skating rink knows violence is there — every weekend everybody know those young folks are there, they hide the guns in the bushes.”

Robinson said there was a group near the rink on Saturday that was firing guns into the air. Another group nearby thought the first group was shooting at them, so the second group started to shoot at the first group.

“Little Deshon was running and got shot,” said Robinson. He told the council to do better, and he urged the city to work with the skating rink to employ police escorts in that area.

Adamsville resident R.R. Harris said the community is heartbroken. Resident Keith Lewis Jr. said the region’s youth needs more support from everyone in the city because it feels like the community “is in the 60s” given the violence.

Deshon was following his grandfather’s footsteps and wanted to become a pastor, his mother, Charlett DuBose, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. DuBose said her son was a friendly, genuine kid, who always had a smile on his face.

“Always had a smile on his face. He never had a grudge, no grudge against nobody,” DuBose said. “He was a good student at school. He loved God, he loved to go to church.”

Credit: Family photo

Credit: Family photo

She said Deshon was always by her side and always wanted to make her smile. He liked to play football and basketball with his friends and loved to swim.

DuBose said the family are still going through the grieving process and waiting for next steps to honor and remember Deshon. She said she just wants justice for her son.

“It’s still shocking to me. It still feels unreal to me. They took my baby,” DuBose said. “I am hurt, my heart is aching, my body is aching. My heart is broken.”

DuBose said it made her feel better to hear from parents addressing the city council following her son’s death. She said Deshon had her permission to be at the skating ring Saturday night.

Credit: Photo provided by Family of Deshon DuBose

Credit: Photo provided by Family of Deshon DuBose

She wants those responsible to be held accountable.

“They need to put the guns down. They need to stop this gang related stuff, this gun violence stuff,” she said. “I want justice. I want this shooter to be locked up. I don’t care if it’s one, two, three, I don’t care how many (suspects), they need to be locked up.”

Deshon’s death comes after at least 60 children and teenagers became gun violence victims last year. Half of the incidents were fatal.

“Since the loss of my son, there have seven teenagers who have lost their lives to senseless gun violence,” said Deerica Charles. Her 12-year-old, Zyion Charles, was fatally shot the Saturday after Thanksgiving last year. She urged the council to enact a youth curfew.

“Is this the new norm, waking up and seeing kids on the news everyday,” Charles asked. “It’s the worst feeling ever. Numbers of kids have gotten killed after my son’s death and it hurts.”