A 15-year-old was targeted in a Saturday night shooting on the 17th Street bridge in Midtown, Atlanta Police Department officials said during a Wednesday news conference.
Cameron Jackson was on a scooter when he was shot and critically injured, police said. The teen died from his injuries late Tuesday. A bullet police said was “meant for Cameron” struck Zyion Charles, 12, The seventh grader died Saturday.
Four others injured were treated and released from local hospitals, according to police.
“It’s tragic. Being a father myself, having young teenage daughters, it’s difficult to investigate the death of a child,” Deputy Chief Charles Hampton Jr. said Wednesday. “My heart goes out to the mothers of these two sons. I can’t imagine what they’re currently going through. They should be preparing for Christmas, the holidays, but now they have to spend their time making arrangements to bury their sons.”
Investigators released surveillance video and asked for the public’s help in identifying the alleged shooters.
“We have Cameron who just died yesterday riding by on a scooter,” homicide Detective Jarion Shephard said, narrating the video during the news conference. “The gentleman you see here in this video pulled out a handgun and shot multiple shots directed at Cameron. Zyion took a bullet, an indirect shot meant for Kameron. So did the other victims out there. All the bullets were directed at Cameron. Everybody else was just collateral damage.”
Late Saturday, a group of children and teenagers were escorted off the Atlantic Station property for violating a 3 p.m. curfew and unruly behavior.
Moments later, shots were fired on the nearby bridge. No arrests have been announced in the case. Investigators said Wednesday they believe video surveillance will identify the responsible party.
Zyion was seen walking with a group of teenagers after leaving Atlantic Station, according to investigators. One of those firing shots — including the one that killed Zyion — was in the same group, police said.
“What I was able to determine through my investigation is that Zyion was killed from this person’s bullet,” Shephard said. “This person is also part of Zyion’s group. There was not a back-and-forth shootout between the second male who’s now deceased.”
After Zyion was shot, the group continued walking, boarding a MARTA train at the Arts Center station, according to police. Video from the train appeared to show the teens gloating and celebrating, Shephard said.
“During the train ride they antagonized different customers,” Shephard said of the group. “They flashed their waistband, gesturing like they were going to pull their weapon out. They flashed gang signs, they antagonized another group at a gas station and they also seemed to be celebrating, making gestures and talking about the shooting.”
The morning after the deadly shooting, city leaders called on the community for help in fighting gun violence.
“When a 12-year-old dies in our city — on our city streets ... the whole village has a responsibility, and the whole village is impacted,” Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said Sunday morning at a news conference, where he was joined by police Chief Darin Schierbaum and Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring.
On Monday, Zyion’s mother and grandmother spoke publicly in front of the Atlanta City Council’s public safety committee, their raw emotions still flowing. The boy’s family knew he was troubled and tried previously to get the police involved.
“I cried out for help,” Deerica Charles, Zyion’s mother, told the council. “I cried out for it. I promise y’all, I cried out for it.”
Funeral arrangements were pending Wednesday for both victims.
Anyone with information is asked to submit a tip to the Crime Stoppers Atlanta tip line by calling 404-577-TIPS (8477), visiting www.crimestoppersatlanta.org or texting CSA and the tip to CRIMES (274637). Tipsters can remain anonymous. On Wednesday, police said the reward has been increased to $10,000 in the case.