‘Lack of regard for human life’: 4 more killed after violent weekend in Atlanta

Investigators were called to investigate a shooting at the Azule Restaurant and Lounge on Piedmont Avenue early Monday morning and found a man dead in a bathroom.



Investigators were called to investigate a shooting at the Azule Restaurant and Lounge on Piedmont Avenue early Monday morning and found a man dead in a bathroom.

It was another violent weekend in Atlanta, with multiple shootings leaving two dead and more than seven wounded. And the violence continued into Monday.

Before the sun came up, four more people had been killed in shootings since midnight across the city. That brought Atlanta’s total number of homicides in 2021 to 52, an increase of more than 50% from this time last year.

In response, the Atlanta Police Department released a statement on social media Monday afternoon, again urging residents to show restraint and work through their problems without resorting to gun violence. It has become an ongoing plea for the past few months as the death toll climbs.

“APD responded to another violent weekend with people using guns to resolve disagreements,” the statement said. “More people lost their lives, others remain in the hospital, perpetrators will soon be facing life-altering prison sentences & family’s lives are forever changed.”

Monday’s four deadly shootings occurred within a span of four hours and sent homicide detectives to crime scenes in Buckhead, Vine City and southwest Atlanta’s Sylvan Hills neighborhood.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who two weeks ago announced the creation of a new working group to provide recommendations for reducing crime, also responded Monday, saying “Atlantans deserve and expect a safe community.”

“As our administration continues to put considerable resources towards ending this COVID crime wave, the Anti-Violence Advisory Committee will begin work this week to make additional recommendations to help improve public safety throughout our city.”

Bottoms recently announced she will not seek a second term.

Monday’s first shooting was reported at 1:30 a.m. in Buckhead, according to police. Authorities found a passenger shot inside a vehicle on the Buford Highway Connector at Sidney Marcus Boulevard and rushed him to a hospital, where he died.

Investigators believe the victim was injured when someone started shooting at his vehicle on Ga. 400, making his the sixth death in a shooting on a metro Atlanta highway this year. No information on the suspects or their vehicle was released by police Monday.

The second victim was discovered about 2:50 a.m. at an apartment complex on Magnolia Way, nearly 8 miles away in northwest Atlanta’s Vine City neighborhood.

The first officers to arrive performed first aid on a woman with multiple gunshot wounds, but she died at the scene, according to Atlanta police spokesman Officer Steve Avery. Detectives are still working to determine the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

Another shooting at 3:30 a.m. took officers to the Metro Mart USA flea market on Metropolitan Parkway in southwest Atlanta. There, they discovered a man with multiple gunshot wounds who died after he was taken to a hospital. The circumstances surrounding his shooting are also unclear, Avery said.

The final deadly shooting was reported about 4:20 a.m. at the Azule Restaurant and Lounge in the Lindbergh area of Buckhead, where a 43-year-old man was found dead in a bathroom. His name was not released.

Investigators with Atlanta police and the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office collected evidence and spoke with witnesses at the Piedmont Road nightclub for much of the morning.

“Currently, we have two persons of interest,” police Lt. Daniel Genson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from the scene. “We’re not ready to put that information out as far as more details on that, but we do have strong leads right now that we are following up on.”

Atlanta police’s statement pointed to the rising violence around the U.S., calling it “insanity” and saying “this isn’t just unique to Atlanta.”

“Gun violence isn’t a political issue. It is not a 2nd Amendment issue and it is not a race issue. It is people making terrible decisions with guns, poor anger management, and it is a profound carelessness and lack of regard for human life issue,” the statement read.

“Contrary to the arguments and the laws, not everyone should possess a gun. Irresponsible, immature and criminal-minded people should not possess guns.”

Investigators were following up on "strong leads" following the shooting Monday morning at the Azule Restaurant and Lounge on Piedmont Road.


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