The recent rise in gunfire and crime at Atlantic Station has become enough for management and patrons. So now, when the clock strikes 3 p.m. each day, minors must be on their way out or accompanied by a guardian.
After at least three shootings at the high-end Midtown shopping plaza since late December, a spokesperson said Friday that frustration is at its peak and management will not tolerate crime on the property.
A curfew for minors has been in place at Atlantic Station for years. As of 2020, a 6 p.m. curfew was enforced for all guests under 18 years old and an 11 p.m. curfew for those under 21.
The guidelines have only become stricter. Those under 18 must now be off the premises by 3 p.m. or accompanied by a parent or guardian. Anyone under 21 is not allowed on the property after 9 p.m.
“Atlantic Station is proud of its position as the heart of Atlanta, and we take our role seriously in keeping the community safe,” an Atlantic Station spokesperson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution via email. ”We are frustrated by the rise in crime citywide and have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior at Atlantic Station.”
This decision comes as part of management’s continued effort to update and invest in the shopping plaza’s security program, which includes an around-the-clock team and more than 500 surveillance cameras throughout the property, the spokesperson added.
The decision also comes, in part, after gunfire erupted Dec. 26 just after 10 p.m. among a group of more than 100 teenagers on 17th Street, the AJC previously reported. In 911 calls released from that night, witnesses described a chaotic scene. Callers reported fights breaking out among the crowd, which eventually escalated to gun violence.
“We have over 100 juveniles on the property fighting each other and starting fights all over the place,” a caller who identified herself as a security employee told dispatch. “They are just running and fighting ... we need some assistance ASAP, please.”
Things escalated and frantic callers began alerting emergency dispatch of a shooting in the area, scattering the crowds.
“I heard gunshots and like, I was driving by and I saw like a bunch of people running,” another caller said. “It was at least 20 or 30 shots.”
A Georgia State University officer working an extra job and a security guard attempted to intervene as the gunshots rang out. After seeing a 16-year-old “actively firing shots into a crowd,” the officer shot the suspect, GSU interim police Chief Anthony Coleman said at the time. The teen survived the shooting.
Just days later, Atlanta police responded to the Ellington Midtown apartment complex along 17th Street and found a car with multiple bullet holes blocking the entrance to the parking garage. They also found damage that was the result of gunfire on the wall of the building near its entrance.
Most recently, a bystander was shot while walking past a group outside Bowlero along 19th Street. Atlanta police said two groups were outside the bowling alley when they got into a dispute. At some point, someone began shooting and the victim was struck as she walked nearby, police said. Authorities said the woman was not part of either group.
Atlantic Station’s new curfew is reminiscent of the policy Lenox Square put in place in September in response to rising crime in Buckhead and several shootings that had taken place on the property.
Their “youth supervision program” enforces that anyone under 18 has to be accompanied by their parent or an adult 21 or older after 3 p.m. Management also installed weapons detectors, hired off-duty Atlanta police officers to patrol and even allowed police to open a mini-precinct inside the mall after shootings at Lenox began to dominate headlines in 2020, tarnishing the mall’s reputation as a high-end, luxury shopping destination.