5 dead, more than 2 dozen injured in Atlanta holiday weekend shootings

Officers gather evidence after a shooting in the parking lot of a gas station on Pryor Road on Sunday.
Officers gather evidence after a shooting in the parking lot of a gas station on Pryor Road on Sunday.

Credit: John Amis

Credit: John Amis

Gunfire and violence that broke out across Atlanta over the July Fourth holiday weekend left five people dead, including an 8-year-old girl, and 26 more injured, police said Monday.

From Friday through Sunday, police said there were 31 confirmed shooting victims in 11 incidents. Five of those victims were killed, according to spokesman Officer Steve Avery.

The child, identified by her family as Secoreia Turner, died after she was shot in the area of University Avenue and Pryor Road shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday. The fatal shooting happened across the street from the Wendy’s restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was killed by an Atlanta police officer.

The girl was riding in a car with her mother and an adult friend on I-75/85 when they exited onto University Avenue police spokesman Sgt. John Chafee said in a statement.

The driver tried to turn into a parking lot in the 1200 block of Pryor Road but was confronted by a “group of armed individuals who had blocked the entrance,” Chafee said.

“At some point, someone in that group opened fire on the vehicle, striking it multiple times and striking the child who was inside,” he said.

RELATED: 8-year-old girl shot, killed in Atlanta

The driver took the child to Atlanta Medical Center, Chafee said. She did not survive her injuries, he said.

City Council President Felicia Moore said she was up until 4 a.m. Sunday talking to constituents alarmed by the violence.

“This type of behavior is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated,” Moore said. “A strong message needs to be sent.”

RELATED: Drive-by shooting reported outside Wendy's where Rayshard Brooks was killed

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Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Sunday denounced the violence in an emotional news conference at police headquarters in which she and Turner’s family urged people to come forward with information about the girl’s killers.

“Enough is enough,” Bottoms said.

RELATED: Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms: 'You shot and killed a baby ... an 8-year-old baby'

Within an hour of the news conference, Atlanta police officers were called to a deadly triple shooting on Pryor Road.

Officers who responded to the scene about 7:20 p.m. Sunday found two people who appeared to have been shot. One of them, 53-year-old Christopher Brooks, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The other person was grazed by a bullet and stable. The third shooting victim arrived at Grady Memorial Hospital in a private vehicle.

“The preliminary investigation indicates there was an exchange of gunfire between at least two people, resulting in the three victims being struck,” Chafee said.

Homicide investigators are trying to determine the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

In another incident, as many as 14 people were injured when shots were fired on Auburn Avenue, Chafee said. Police were sent to the area about 1 a.m., he said.

Investigators said a “large group” of people were gathered in the intersection to watch fireworks at a party. At some point, a car hit a group of the partygoers, Chafee said. The incident sparked a fight and led to gunshots.

All of the victims were taken to hospitals by private cars, and 12 of them are stable, Chafee said. Two of the victims who were listed in critical condition died of their injuries on Sunday, police said. They were identified as 20-year-old Joshua Ingram and 32-year-old Erica Robinson.

Demarquez Mobley, 26, was killed hours later in a separate shooting in the 2500 block of Center Street. He was dead by the time officers got to the scene about 3 p.m.

“The preliminary investigation indicates the victim was followed by two males who produced firearms and shot him multiple times,” police said. “It appears the victim was the intended target of the gunmen.”

The deaths were the culmination of what is being called the deadliest weekend of the year in Atlanta.

About 11:30 p.m. Saturday, police were called to the 1500 block of Hardee Street after two people were reportedly shot, according to Chafee.

Investigators said the man and woman had confronted a group of people who had been setting off fireworks outside their home. At some point during the conflict, shots were fired and the victims were hit, Chafee said.

The man and woman were taken to Grady, Chafee said.

“Both declined to provide information to police regarding what happened,” he said.

About the same time, five people were hurt in a drive-by shooting at a location on Lakewood Avenue, Chafee said. All five victims were taken to hospitals, he said. They were listed as stable.

A man was taken to a hospital Sunday evening after he was shot in southwest Atlanta. Officers were called to the 1900 block of Bent Creek Way, where they found the man with a gunshot wound about 9:40 p.m. He is stable, according to police.

Two people were also reported injured in unrelated shootings on Etheridge Drive and Edgewood Street.

No arrests have been made in any of the cases.

Moore said constituents have told her they want to hear a plan to address the spike in violent crime that has occurred in the city in recent weeks.

“Another of night of this cannot happen,” Moore said.

— Staff writer J. Scott Trubey contributed to this article.

In other news: 

There has been an alarming rise in violent crime in Atlanta over the past month.