19-year-old shot dead near school in northwest Atlanta

A 19-year-old man was shot and killed in northwest Atlanta on Wednesday afternoon in front of a middle school.

Atlanta police investigators were on the scene trying to piece together what led to the young man’s killing while he was on a bicycle in front of J.E. Brown Middle School in the 200 block of Griffin Street. The victim, who neighbors said lived about a block away, was shot multiple times. Police said another man was seen fleeing the scene, but did not release his description.

The shooting was reported just before 2:30 p.m., while students were still in class. The building was put on lockdown, said Officer Lukasz Sajdak, an Atlanta police spokesman. By 4 p.m., parents were allowed to pick up their children on the opposite side of the campus from where the shooting happened. A team of firefighters from the Atlanta Fire Department hosed the victim’s blood off the sidewalk in front of the school out of sight of the students.

Police have not released the victim’s name.

Ernesta Coulbourne told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that her neighbor was the victim of the shooting, which she said neighbors described as a drive-by. She said the victim lived next door to her with his mother and his five younger siblings.

“I heard his mother screaming when she found out,” Coulbourne said through tears. “He was just at my house last night playing Xbox with my kids.”

Her daughter, Jaiya Crosell, 19, consoled her just a few yards away from where the firefighters worked. Crosell said the young man was trying to start a music career and was planning to enroll in a Job Corps training program.

“He was trying to make something of himself,” Crosell said. “He was trying to get out.”

Police have not released any information on a motive and ask anyone with any information about the killing to call Crime Stoppers at 404 577-8477.