The shooting of an eight-year-old girl in Atlanta has sparked a manhunt for at least two suspects, with the city’s mayor calling for an end to the gun violence that injured at least 20 people and killed at least three over the holiday weekend.
Secoriea Turner was killed on 4 July when the car she was riding in was hit by a volley of gunfire from an armed crowd, who were apparently guarding a barrier they had illegally put up to keep traffic out of the area.
“We are shooting each other up on our streets,” said mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms at a press conference addressing the killing.
“And you shot and killed a baby. And it wasn’t one shooter, there were at least two shooters. An eight-year-old-baby.”
A $10,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the shooters’ arrest.
The incident occurred near the Wendy’s restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was shot dead on 12 June by an Atlanta police officer, who has since been charged with murder.
Brooks’s killing was caught on body camera, and the footage stirred further anger among the thousands of protesters already furious at the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Ms Bottoms pointed out that Turner’s killing was not a police crime, but a community one – and that gun violence on the streets has to stop if the movement against police violence is to succeed.
“If you want us to be taken seriously, and you don’t want us to lose this movement, then we can’t lose each other in this.
“And there are peaceful demonstrators across this city and across this country. And I applaud them and I thank them for being peaceful, and for honouring the lives of so many people who have been killed in America because of injustice … but this random, wild wild west, shoot them up because you can? It’s got to stop. It has to stop.”
Citing Georgia’s open-carry laws, which allow people to walk down the street carrying large firearms, Ms Bottoms called on the people of her city to take action.
“We are doing each other more harm than any police officer on this force. We’ve had over 75 shootings in this city over the past several weeks. You can’t blame that on APD. I’m just asking to please honour this baby’s life. Please, if you know who did this, please turn them in, these people are a danger to all of us.”
“An 8-year-old girl was killed last night because her mother was riding down the street,” said the mayor. “If Secoriea was not safe last night, none of us are safe.”
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