Artez Benton, scholarship student turned entrepreneur, ‘did everything right’

Artez Benton had big dreams and a family that adored him.

He was training to become an electrician, longed to own a home and had ambitions of running a successful clothing company.

His life was cut short late last month when gunshots rang out in a Buckhead shopping center. The DeKalb County native was one of three men shot when bullets started flying behind a row of shops and restaurants in the 2200 block of Peachtree Road, police said. He was 23.

ExploreAtlanta homicides up for 3rd straight year

The youngest child and only son of Artis and Bridget Benton, Artez’ parents remembered him a hardworking go-getter with a bright smile and a giving heart.

“He did everything right,” said his father, Artis Benton. “ I never thought that this would be the end for him.”

After graduating with honors from Druid Hills High School, Benton attended Young Harris College, a private liberal arts college in the North Georgia mountains about 100 miles north of downtown Atlanta. He was recruited as a baseball player, but also received a partial academic scholarship to attend the school.

He graduated last year with his business degree and got an apprenticeship at Mayberry Electric, an Atlanta-based electrical contractor, working through a five-year program to become a licensed electrician.

He and a group of friends had also recently launched a clothing line, Cash Life Global. Despite his hectic schedule, Benton made the time to help his dad with his landscaping business and train his 8-year-old nephew in baseball.

No arrests have been made in the June 26 shooting that killed Benton and injured two other men. Classmates, coaches and old friends have reached out to the family, and Benton’s alma mater released a sorrowful statement praising his kind spirit, passion for baseball his heart for others.

Credit: Provided by Benton family

Credit: Provided by Benton family

Benton’s grieving family wants answers.

“We just want justice for Artez,” said his sister, Arteria Benton. “So if you see something, say something please.”