Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is calling for immediate change after an 8-year-old child was shot to death during a bloody Fourth of July weekend across Georgia’s capital.
The girl, identified as Secoriea Turner, was riding in a car with her mother Saturday night when at least two people opened fire on the vehicle near the Wendy’s restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was killed last month.
Police believe the woman was trying to go into a parking lot that was partially blocked by illegally placed barricades when the shooters sprayed her car with bullets.
“You shot and killed a baby,” Bottoms said in an emotional news conference Sunday with the child’s grief-stricken mother.
No arrests have been made in the case. Police are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the killers.
“I am asking you to please honor this baby’s life,” the mayor said. “Please, if you know who did this, please turn them in.”
Atlanta police are also investigating at least two other fatal shootings that took place over the weekend, including one that left a 53-year-old man dead and two other people wounded Sunday night in the same area where Brooks and Secoriea were killed.
The mayor praised the series of peaceful demonstrations against systemic racism and police brutality taking place across Atlanta and the country in the wake of George Floyd’s in-custody death in Minneapolis, but she lashed out at violent protesters who have illegally closed off streets across the city in recent weeks.
She also urged the public to fight “the enemy within,” noting that numerous people are losing their lives in a senseless string of murders that have nothing to do with the police.
“We talk a lot about what we are demanding, from our officers and our communities, and we have protested, we’ve demonstrated, we’ve been angry, we’ve cried, we demanded action,” Bottoms said in her Sunday news conference.
“But now we are demanding action for Secoriea Turner and for all of the other people who were shot in Atlanta last night and over the past few weeks because the reality is this: these aren’t police officers shooting people in the streets of Atlanta. These are members of the community shooting each other.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp offered his condolences to the girl’s family in a tweet Sunday night.
“Our hearts absolutely break for this precious life senselessly taken,” he wrote. “Marty, the girls, and I are praying for the Lord’s comfort over Secoriea’s family and loved ones in the face of this tragedy.”
Brooks, 27, was killed by two gunshots to the back by police outside a Wendy’s after he fell asleep in the restaurant’s drive-through.