6-month-old boy killed in targeted shooting at troubled Atlanta apartments

2 adults also injured when 2 shooters open fire, police say

Credit: WSBTV Videos

6-month-old killed, 2 adults injured in ‘targeted’ shooting at Atlanta apartment complex

A 6-month-old boy was killed Wednesday evening in what police believe was a targeted shooting that also injured two adults at a persistently dangerous southwest Atlanta apartment complex.

Investigators have not determined if the bullets were intended for the child, identified by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office as Charles Watson Jr. The shooting appears to be connected to another incident three months ago at The Hills at Greenbriar, a complex along Campbellton Road that has been the site of multiple homicides and dozens of shootings in recent years.

“Right now, we know that this was a targeted incident,” Atlanta police Deputy Chief Charles Hampton told reporters from the scene. He declined to provide further information about the May incident, citing the ongoing investigation.

Wednesday’s violence took officers to the complex around 8:15 p.m. after reports of multiple people shot. The three victims were located at the scene and taken to hospitals, where the child died from his injuries, Hampton said.

A 23-year-old man remained in critical condition late Wednesday, and a 27-year-old woman was said to be stable. Their names were not released. When asked by reporters, Hampton declined to say if the two adults were the parents of the child.

“Any death in our city is a tragedy, but anything involving a child makes it difficult for the investigators solving this crime,” he said. “And that’s why we are hoping that anyone who knows any information would do the right thing and call us.”

Investigators said they are looking for two shooters who left in a light-colored sedan.

The Hills at Greenbriar is among the 275 complexes identified in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s “Dangerous Dwellings” investigation that looked into serious crimes, lax maintenance and other hazards in Atlanta neighborhoods. The complex, formerly known as The Life at Greenbriar, is located behind an Atlanta fire station and just north of Langford Parkway.

From 2017 to 2021, police reported 119 crimes at the apartments. They include homicides in February 2017, March 2020, April 2020 and December 2020, as well as 40 aggravated assaults, 12 robberies, one rape and one sodomy.

In May of this year, seven crimes were reported at the Hills at Greenbriar, including four aggravated assaults, a robbery and a burglary, according to police department data.

Following the AJC investigation, local prosecutors promised a crackdown at the properties with the highest number of crimes and housing code violations for poor living conditions. The Hills at Greenbriar was identified as one of 43 properties on the city solicitor’s list for civil action last year.

Apartment management was working with detectives as they collected evidence and reviewed surveillance footage at the complex Wednesday. Hampton said they are hoping tips from the public will help generate more leads.

Tipsters can remain anonymous, and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000, by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.

— Please return to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for updates.