Parents of Secoriea Turner ask for tipsters to identify her killers

07/15/2020 - Atlanta, Georgia - Charmaine Turner (second from left), mother of Secoriea Turner and Secoriey Williamson (right), father of Secoriea Turner, comfort each other during the home-going service for Secoriea Turner at New Calvary Missionary Church in AtlantaÕs Sylvan Hills community, Wednesday, July 15, 2020. On July 4, 8-year-old Secoriea was shot dead by armed civilians who had commandeered a street in AtlantaÕs Peoplestown community. She was one of five individuals who were killed over the Independence Day Weekend in Atlanta. (ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

Credit: ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM

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07/15/2020 - Atlanta, Georgia - Charmaine Turner (second from left), mother of Secoriea Turner and Secoriey Williamson (right), father of Secoriea Turner, comfort each other during the home-going service for Secoriea Turner at New Calvary Missionary Church in AtlantaÕs Sylvan Hills community, Wednesday, July 15, 2020. On July 4, 8-year-old Secoriea was shot dead by armed civilians who had commandeered a street in AtlantaÕs Peoplestown community. She was one of five individuals who were killed over the Independence Day Weekend in Atlanta. (ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

Credit: ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM

The 8-year-old was fatally shot on July 4

Right about now, Secoriea Turner would be making noise, making her family smile, making everybody laugh.

Instead, the 8-year-old’s parents face their first Christmas season without her.

“It’s a very hard time for me and my kids, her dad and our family,” her mother, Charmaine Turner, said Friday, her voice sounding numb when it wasn’t halting. “Most holidays she is the one who’s the loudest. She’s always happy. We won’t get to experience that this year.”

Secoriea, a rising thirrd grader who attended KIPP WAYS Primary School, died July 4. She was shot near the burned out Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks had been killed by an police officer the prior month, leading to weeks of protest at the University Avenue restaurant. The girl was shot when the car she was in encountered a roadblock an armed group had set up to control who was allowed to pass the restaurant, where protesters had camped out.

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The family of Secoriea Turner put up two billboards along University Avenue where she was killed on July 4. They're asking anyone with information on her death to come forward.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

The family of Secoriea Turner put up two billboards along University Avenue where she was killed on July 4. They're asking anyone with information on her death to come forward.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

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The family of Secoriea Turner put up two billboards along University Avenue where she was killed on July 4. They're asking anyone with information on her death to come forward.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Secoriea’s parents spoke with reporters in a virtual news conference to ask once again for anyone who knows who shot her to contact police. Investigators have said as many as four people fired shots. The only suspect charged in the case is Julian Conley, 19. Conley, who is accused of aggravated assault and felony murder, has said he only witnessed the shooting.

“We just hope there’s someone out there,” Charmaine Turner said, “who will find it in their heart to come forward with information regarding my baby’s case. They would want the same thing for their child.”

Secoriey Williamson, the buoyant little girl’s dad, spoke of the void the family feels.

“Secoriea was just that one,” he said. “We won’t be able to feel the presence of that one.”

The family made a commercial honoring Secoriea’s memory that will air on Comcast in Fulton County. It features relatives speaking about her and wishing her a happy birthday. She would have turned 9 on Nov. 24.

“We did the commercial for awareness to violence,” said Williamson. “We’re trying to keep Secoriea’s name alive. Not just Secoriea, every child and every parent that’s been in this situation.”

G.R.I.E.V.E., a homicide support group founded by Betty Maddox, also made a video for a social media campaign featuring a local 10-year-old girl asking for witnesses to come forward.

“She was only 9 years old,” Joscely Skyy Wilson said. “We are America’s future, and we want to live.”

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Crews tear down burned-out Wendy's after deaths of Rayshard Brooks, Secoriea Turner

Crews tear down burned-out Wendy's after deaths of Rayshard Brooks, Secoriea Turner

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Crews tear down burned-out Wendy's after deaths of Rayshard Brooks, Secoriea Turner

The family has also notified the city it intends to sue for $16 million, saying the city should’ve prevented the tragedy. City officials had previously moved the roadblock, which the core group of protesters said they didn’t want, but it reappeared on the day she was shot. The building was razed and the parking lot cleared after the child’s death.

Family attorney Mawuli Davis said Friday the suit may be filed in January.