Teen killed, at least 9 others shot in Atlanta weekend gun violence
Credit: Steve Schaefer
Police tape is still visible on Central Avenue Southwest in Atlanta on Sunday, March 6, 2022, a day after a triple shooting left a teenager dead and two others injured. (Photo by Steve Schaefer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Separate shootings left a teenage boy dead and at least nine others injured over the weekend in Atlanta — a spate that comes as city officials have already been facing challenges over how to curb growing gun violence.
Among the Saturday and Sunday incidents were two separate shootings that resulted in multiple victims, including one near the Atlanta Fair and one on I-75.
On Saturday night around 9:30 p.m., a fight led to three people — a 19-year-old man and two boys, 16 and 14 years old — being shot near Pryor and Bass streets, according to police. The 16-year-old, Joshua Adetunji, died.
“I think we’re off to a decent start with this investigation,’’ Atlanta police Lt. Ralph Woolfolk told Channel 2 Action News. “We recovered some ballistic evidence on scene. We’ve also begun to assess video surveillance in reference to the incident, so we will be working through the night to determine all the persons involved in this incident.”
Police have not announced any arrests, and they released no other details about the victims. As of Sunday afternoon, police did not identify any link between the triple shooting and the opening weekend of the annual fair, which is being held across the street from Center Parc Credit Union Stadium.
Cellphone video shared on social media appears to show multiple fights breaking out among large crowds on the fairgrounds. Another video, shared on Twitter by ATLUncensored, shows a large police presence at the BP station immediately after the shooting.
Credit: WSBTV Videos
Less than 24 hours earlier, four people were wounded in a shooting on I-75 around 12:40 a.m. when someone opened fire on a Lamborghini near Arthur Langford Jr. Parkway following an earlier dispute, according to police.
Responding officers found a woman with a gunshot wound in a pickup truck, according to a news release. She was taken to a hospital where police said she was stable.
Later, three other victims — a man and two women who had been in the Lamborghini — showed up at a hospital with gunshot wounds after driving themselves there, police said. Those victims also were said to be stable.
A fifth victim called 911 and reported his vehicle also took gunfire on I-75, but he was not wounded. He and the woman in the pickup truck were not believed to be the intended targets, a police spokesperson said in the release.
“Investigators believe the shooting stemmed from an altercation earlier in the evening between the occupants of the Lamborghini and another group, and the investigation is continuing,” the spokesperson said.
Police did not release the identity of the victims nor any details of what led to the altercation.
Also on Saturday, a man was shot around 9 p.m. in the 2500 block of Center Street as a result of a dispute with another man, according to police. He was taken to a hospital and was said to be stable.
On Sunday morning around 1:45 a.m., a woman was shot at Eighth and Spring streets, also as a result of a dispute that escalated, police said. She was taken to a hospital and was said to be stable.
Just 20 minutes later, police were called to a nightclub at VLive Atlanta nightclub and found spent shell casings and vehicles damaged by gunfire, according to a news release. A man showed up at a hospital a short time later, but investigators were unable to speak with him due to his injuries.
Gun violence in Atlanta, like in many cities across the country, has steadily been rising since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and that trend continues this year.
Just in January, the number of 2022 homicide cases was already ahead of last year’s total at that time, according to data from the city’s police department. That comes on the heels of 2021′s total of 158 homicides, topping the deadly tally for 2020, which had the most homicides since 1996.
During a recent meeting with reporters, Atlanta police said one of the driving factors is a lack of conflict resolution skills, causing arguments to escalate to gunfire. Nearly 33% of homicide cases can be attributed to escalating disputes, Woolfolk said last month.
“We know that the common factor in almost every homicide we have is guns,” Chief Rodney Bryant said. “Over 90% of our homicides are with a handgun, and that’s a problem in itself. … People have to be more responsible.”
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens made reducing crime the central focus of his campaign last year, pitching a plan that involves hiring more police officers, bolstering community policing and targeting gang leaders. His efforts to curb gun violence in Atlanta come as Republican state leaders propose legislation for Georgians to carry concealed handguns without a permit.