Cops: Man shot in downtown Atlanta after refusing to lend phone to stranger

2nd man injured in random shooting nearby, police say

Atlanta police are searching for a man suspected of approaching a pedestrian in downtown Atlanta and asking to borrow the stranger’s phone, then shooting the other man when he refused.

The incident was the second of two unusual shootings to take place downtown in less than two hours Monday night.

Officers were called to 15 Peachtree Street for reports of a person shot around 11:20 p.m., Atlanta police said in a news release. At the scene, police found a 42-year-old man suffering from a gunshot wound.

The man told police he was walking in the area near Woodruff Park when he was approached by another man who asked to use his cellphone, the release said. The 42-year-old refused the stranger, who pulled out a pistol and shot him, according to police.

The victim was able to run to a nearby parking garage and hid until officers arrived, police said. He was taken to the hospital and was considered stable.

Less than an hour and a half earlier, officers responded to a person shot call at 500 McDaniel Street, a little more than a mile away from the scene of the cellphone incident, according to police. On McDaniel Street, police found a 26-year-old man suffering from a gunshot wound.

The man told officers he had been driving in the area of McDaniel and Whitehall streets when someone shot him, police said. He did not know who was shooting.

The victim was taken to the hospital and also considered stable, police said. Authorities did not say if they believe the two shootings were connected.

The incidents come on the heels of a violent weekend in Atlanta that left officials once again pleading with residents to solve disputes without picking up their guns.

“As we’ve said countless times, we are just asking the citizens to just find a way to resolve conflict without weapons,” Atlanta police Deputy Chief Charles Hampton Jr. said during a Sunday news briefing from Rosa L. Burney Park, where hours earlier a friendly ballgame game erupted into a shooting that left two dead and several others injured.

The first of Monday’s shootings took place within a few hundred yards of Rosa L. Burney Park.

“We are just asking people to step away,” Hampton continued. “We are asking people to let bygones be bygones.”

Speaking at the Atlanta City Council’s public safety committee meeting Monday, Mayor Andre Dickens called the incident “essentially a mass shooting,” saying it was “alarming and disturbing.”

According to police, about 40% of homicide cases this year were the result of escalating disputes.

Anyone with information on Monday’s shooting downtown is asked to contact Crime Stoppers Atlanta by calling 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.

— Staff writer Chelsea Prince contributed to this article.