2 children among 6 injured in separate DeKalb shootings

Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com

Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com

A family walking to their car Tuesday night became caught in a hail of bullets when someone opened fire in the parking lot of their DeKalb County apartment complex.

As many as 100 shots were unleashed, prompting some residents of the Arborside Apartments on Maypop Lane to hunker down for safety inside their homes. Others weren’t as fortunate.

In the quiet moments that followed the onslaught, panic ensued as a frantic mother realized her 2-year-old daughter had been shot.

“My daughter’s holding her baby and was like, ‘Oh, my God, my baby’s shot! My baby’s shot!’” the child’s grandmother said. “The bullet went into her back, and it did not come out through the stomach but it was protruding through the stomach. It didn’t break the skin.”

The toddler and two men were struck in what became the first of two triple shootings police worked in DeKalb that night. Just over an hour later, at another apartment complex three miles away, a 5-year-old and two others were struck by another volley of gunfire. The 2-year-old remains in critical condition, but both children are expected to survive.

Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com

Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com

The shooting at the Arborside complex happened at about 11:40 p.m. Tuesday. Responding DeKalb police officers found all three victims at the scene, and they were rushed to a hospital. One of the adult victims was also critically wounded, according to police.

The other is the child’s uncle, who was helping her mother and another child to their vehicle, according to her grandmother, who asked not to be identified for her safety. The woman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the sheer number of gunshots made her afraid to leave her second-floor unit.

“I’m like, ‘Oh, my God. Do I run outside? Do I not?’ Because there were so many of them,” she said.

“I thought it was at least 100 or somethin’ shots myself, really,” neighbor Bobby Bogan said. He and his family hit the floor as soon as they heard the gunshots and didn’t get back up until they saw police and fire crews at the scene.

After the shots died down, the grandmother said she waited by the stairs as her family took stock of what had just happened. As her children came back upstairs, helped by another relative, they realized her son had been shot in the foot. Then came the realization that a bullet pierced the child’s back.

According to her grandmother, the toddler suffered injuries to her liver, colon and part of her spinal column. The girl underwent surgery and should survive, she said, but “she might have to deal with weakness on her right side.”

Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com

Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com

Shortly before 1 a.m., the second triple shooting took officers to The Quarry Apartments on Meadowood Ridge after two other men and a 5-year-old were wounded. Their injuries were not considered life-threatening, police said.

It was not clear who was the indented target in either shooting. While few details were released in the Meadowood Ridge shooting, a police spokesperson said the incident on Maypop Lane did not appear to be a random attack.

At that scene, investigators worked late into Wednesday morning cataloguing shell casing after shell casing. At least 60 evidence markers were scattered across the Arborside complex’s parking lot, the crime scene spanning the length of two apartment buildings.

A Georgia Power electrical box also appeared to have been damaged in the shooting, according to Channel 2 Action News. Multiple evidence markers were seen around the box.

“I’m just lost for words. I can’t believe we’ve come to this,” the 2-year-old’s grandmother said of the daily gun violence seen across the Atlanta metro area. “Twenty to 10 years ago, women and children were off limits when it comes to gunfire. But nowadays, they don’t care about women or children. They don’t even care about their own life. They just don’t care.”

Anyone with information about either shooting is asked to contact DeKalb police investigators at 770-724-7850.