12-year-old boy found shot to death behind SW Atlanta neighborhood

The body of a 12-year-old boy was discovered Wednesday afternoon behind a southwest Atlanta neighborhood, police said.

Credit: NewsChopper 2

Combined ShapeCaption
The body of a 12-year-old boy was discovered Wednesday afternoon behind a southwest Atlanta neighborhood, police said.

Credit: NewsChopper 2

Authorities have identified a 12-year-old boy who was found shot to death behind a southwest Atlanta neighborhood the day after his family reported him missing.

The family of David Mack discovered his body Wednesday afternoon while searching behind the neighborhood where he lived, authorities said. He was identified Wednesday by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office.

ExploreAt least 5 dead, dozens injured in icy Texas highway crash

Officers were called to the 1900 block of Shirley Street about 1:45 p.m. after David’s body was found in a creek bed near the John A. White Golf Course, Atlanta police said. He had been shot multiple times and was was pronounced dead at the scene.

“The family went out looking for their loved one and looked in areas in which he played in and traveled,” Atlanta police Maj. D’Andrea Price told reporters. They called 911 after making the grisly discovery, she said.

According to investigators, David was reported missing by his grandmother Tuesday evening after he left for a friend’s house and never returned. Police were called to the family’s home on Beecher Street about 10:45 p.m., nearly eight hours after the woman last saw her grandson. Investigators canvassed the neighborhood and issued a lookout for the missing child, but were unable to find him.

It wasn’t immediately clear Wednesday what led to the shooting or if police have identified any suspects.

Residents near the crime scene told Channel 2 Action News they heard several gunshots behind their homes Tuesday evening and believe the child may have been killed then. One woman said she heard at least two bursts of gunfire about 6 p.m. but didn’t realize until Wednesday that anyone had been struck.

“That just hurt my heart and I’ve been praying ever since,” Kristienne Legette told the news station, calling the shooting horrible. “It’s right there, basically in my backyard.”

Explore2020 has been a deadly year for youths in metro Atlanta

There was a large police presence in the wooded area behind her home Wednesday as investigators searched for clues. Detectives went door-to-door to ask residents if they saw the boy or anyone who may have been with him the previous day.

Combined ShapeCaption
Atlanta police knock on doors Wednesday after a 12-year-old boy was found shot to death behind a southwest Atlanta neighborhood.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Atlanta police knock on doors Wednesday after a 12-year-old boy was found shot to death behind a southwest Atlanta neighborhood.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Combined ShapeCaption
Atlanta police knock on doors Wednesday after a 12-year-old boy was found shot to death behind a southwest Atlanta neighborhood.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

No additional details have been released as the investigation continues.

— Please return to AJC.com for updates.