Atlanta Wendy’s protesters decry Secoriea Turner’s killing

Credit: AJC

Police identified the child Sunday as Secoriea Turner.

Credit: AJC

Protesters who’ve been gathering at the burned out Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was killed in a confrontation with Atlanta police are now expressing sadness and outrage over another death.

Secoriea Turner, 8, was shot dead when an armed group of people across the street from the restaurant stopped their car in the road on Saturday night. Someone shot into the car from the Wendy's parking lot, and someone else fired from the parking lot of the package store, which Secoriea's mother attempted to pull into, according to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. The mom was apparently trying to turn around and drive away from the armed group when they fired.

Those who’ve been spending time at the site, which they hope to see turned into a community center in Brooks’ honor, said the shooters were not from their group.

"(We) would like to extend our deepest condolences and sympathy to the bereaved family and friends of the young 8-year old girl who was killed," said one of the leaders of the "sleep-in" movement at the site said in a videotaped statement distributed Monday morning. "To the family, we stand with you and are here for you."

The woman, who identifies herself as Lady A and appears to be at the Wendy’s as she speaks, said: “no one from our group was involved in any way whatsoever in the shooting. ... We have cooperated fully with local authorities as they investigate.”

Hours before Secoriea was gunned down, there had been a block party near the Wendy's, which some have taken to calling the Rayshard Brooks Peace Center. A flyer for the event advertised live music, games and food. Attendees described the event as peaceful and "beautiful" on Twitter.

Photos showed people passing out food, donned in masks to guard against the coronavirus, and a small library of books related to social justice for attendees' perusal.

This was a preview of sorts for what the activists hope the site will become. Lady A said in the video that they envision it as a center that is about “community healing, ending violence, ending police violence, job training...”

She said they intend to continue negotiations with Wendy’s, the city and residents to reach their goal.

City leaders, however, appear poised to close off the site with permanent barriers as early as today, according to City Councilwoman Joyce Sheperd.

The mayor said the site must be shut down.

“Again, I tell you if you are looking to be part of the solution and not the problem then you are going to have to clear out of that area,” Bottoms said at a news conference Sunday. “This discussion and mediation is over. At the point that an 8-year-old baby was killed, the discussion has ended.”

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