Apollonia Blanchard rushed out of her South Fulton house in a panic. Earlier that night, she gave her son the routine chore of taking out the trash. Now, the mother had just received a phone call that her 17-year-old was shot.
“When I got to the scene, my son was by himself and you could see the blood coming down his face,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
MiQuavious Blanchard had taken his family’s trash to the nearby Camelot Condominiums on Jan. 18 when he was approached by someone about using the dumpster, his mother said. The teenager, who had taken trash to the complex on many previous occasions without a problem, tried to get in a vehicle and leave, but someone came from behind and shot him, she added.
Apollonia Blanchard arrived at the scene to find her son in a van, which had gone through a fence and hit a tree, she said. He was still conscious and breathing, but the sight of him, and the people around her, left her hysterical.
“I’m screaming because I see people outside,” she said. “It hurt so bad because my son is maybe 50 feet from these apartments with people outside minding their own business. It was the worst evil I could ever see.”
Those screams lasted 20 minutes as she said she situated herself next to her injured son before EMTs arrived.
“I’m just screaming, rolling on the ground. Like, just please help my son,” she added.
South Fulton police responded around 12:30 a.m. to the troubled complex at 5655 Old National Highway after receiving a call about a person shot. MiQuavious was suffering from a gunshot wound to the head and was rushed to a hospital in critical condition.
Authorities have not provided details about possible suspects in the shooting. When reached for comment, police said they were looking into information that was provided to them, without elaborating.
Camelot Condominiums is among 272 of the metro area’s persistently dangerous complexes, according to an AJC investigation. At least five homicides occurred there between March 2019 and June 2022, crime data shows. Apollonia questioned how police managed to arrive at the scene before the EMTs.
As of Wednesday afternoon, MiQuavious remained on life support at Grady Memorial Hospital, Apollonia said. She said doctors didn’t recommend surgery for the teen, who is on a ventilator, but she remains hopeful.
“His pupils did dilate, so I’m not going to give up on him,” she said, noting that he recently coughed and had a bowel movement. “So that’s where we are at right now.”
A GoFundMe account created to help with his expenses had raised nearly $4,000 as of Thursday.
MiQuavious was described by his mother as a good kid who enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. Apollonia said he liked fishing with his two younger brothers and loved playing video games at their home, which is about five minutes from Camelot Condominiums. He stayed at home on most days, venturing out mainly for school and work, she said.
Credit: Apollonia Blanchard
Credit: Apollonia Blanchard
“He was just a cool little kid, he didn’t want no harm for anybody,” she added. “He was just taking out the trash.”
MiQuavious was also loved, as shown by the many people who have visited him at the hospital since the shooting last week. Traffic in the room got to the point where Apollonia stopped people at the door because there was too much stimulation for her son, she said.
“Oh, my goodness. He’s had so many visitations. The doctors even said they’ve never seen that many people come and visit someone like that,” she added. “Every day from eight to eight. Two people at a time were in there to see him, that’s how much he was loved.”
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