Atlanta’s 2020 homicides: How we got this story

The fatal shooting of a 16-year-old girl at a downtown hotel marks the 154th homicide Atlanta police have investigated this year. 
(File photo)
The fatal shooting of a 16-year-old girl at a downtown hotel marks the 154th homicide Atlanta police have investigated this year. (File photo)

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

A 7-year-old out Christmas shopping with her family hit by a stray bullet. A teen selling water bottles shot over a $10 dispute. A young man shot over a parking space. A great-grandfather killed when a drive-by shooting targeted the wrong house. They were among the 157 homicide cases Atlanta police investigated in 2020, the city’s deadliest in decades.

No corner of the city was spared. Victims included a security guard who’d dress like Spider-Man for kids’ birthday parties, a Tony-nominated actor known for his roles in Spike Lee films and an 8-year-old shot on the Fourth of July.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution submitted open records requests to the Atlanta Police Department and dozens of other agencies around the state. Reporters interviewed public safety leaders, elected officials and grieving family members. Wearing masks and standing at a safe distance, we reported from crime scenes, news conferences, vigils and funerals.

The AJC’s special report Atlanta Homicide Victims in 2020 includes details about each of 2020′s homicide victims

Read the AJC special report about Atlanta’s 2020 homicides

Atlanta’s deadliest year in decades has city on edge and demanding change

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