15-year-old charged in shooting outside stadium that left child paralyzed

Atlanta police have charged a 15-year-old in the August shooting of two students outside a football stadium in southeast Atlanta.

The shooting, which occurred Aug. 17 following a game at Lakewood Stadium, left a 12-year-old paralyzed from the chest down, AJC.com previously reported.

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The teen charged in the shooting was not identified because he is a juvenile. He was arrested Tuesday and charged with aggravated assault, Atlanta police spokesman James White said.

The incident happened after a high school football game between Mays and Carver. The students shot were identified by police as 12-year-old Isaiah Payton and 15-year-old Damean Spear.

Authorities said Spear has since been released from the hospital, but Payton will require long-term disability care as the result of his injuries.

Police believe the teen charged in the shootings may have been firing at someone else when he struck Payton and Spear. Authorities are still searching for that person.

“This was a reckless, heartless and cowardly act of violence that forever changed the life of a 12-year-old child and his family and deeply affected another juvenile,” Atlanta police Chief Erika Shields said. “Our investigators have worked relentlessly to make this arrest. I’m immensely proud of their determination in getting this individual off the street and look forward to them finding the other shooter.”

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Investigators remained tight-lipped during a news conference held at Atlanta police headquarters Wednesday afternoon. Detectives declined to answer reporters’ questions about what happened leading up to the shooting, what breaks led to an arrest in the case or which school the 15-year-old suspect attends.

Authorities also declined to say where the teen got the gun or if they believe the shooting was gang-related.

On Oct. 7, Atlanta police put a billboard on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive offering a $10,000 reward for information about the shooting, Capt. Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel said. A second sign is going up on Hank Aaron Drive in the hopes of getting information about the second shooter, she said.

“We are strongly encouraging the public to call Crime Stoppers and provide the information needed in order to bring the other shooters involved to justice,” she said. “These are not just kids. These are our kids ... Isaiah Payton, he’s affected for the rest of his life.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.

The teen charged in the shooting remains held at the Metro Regional Youth Detention Center in Atlanta, police said.