Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom declared ‘enough is enough’ after an eight-year-old girl was shot dead on the Fourth of July when at least two gunmen opened fire on her mom’s car near the Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks died in Atlanta.
Secoriea Turner was killed after her mother Charmine Turner drove through an illegal barricade that had been set up by activists around the restaurant where Brooks was shot dead by police officers while being arrested on June 12.
Bottoms, who has been touted as a potential running mate for Joe Biden in November’s presidential election, summarized the incident by declaring ‘enough is enough.’
‘We have talked about this movement that is happening across America at this moment in time when we have the ears and the interest of people across this country and across this globe who are saying they want to see change,’ said Bottoms.
‘We’re fighting the enemy within when we are shooting each other up in our streets. You shot and killed a baby. And it wasn’t one shooter, there was at least two shooters.’
Bottoms also noted that the latest shooting, as well as others that occurred in a 24-hour span, were not the work of local police officers.
‘The reality is this, these aren’t police officers shooting people on the streets of Atlanta,’ she said.
‘These are members of the community shooting each other – and in this case, it is the worst possible outcome.’
Secoriea Turner (pictured), an eight-year-old girl from Atlanta, Georgia, was shot dead on Saturday night when at least two gunmen opened fire on her mom’s car
Charmine Turner (left), pictured with Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (right), broke down in tears during a press conference held Sunday
Charmine Turner, pictured with Secoriea, said: ”We understand the frustration of Rayshard Brooks, we understand. We ain’t got nothing to do with that, we innocent. We didn’t mean no harm. My baby didn’t mean no harm’
Charmine was overcome by grief as she made an emotional plea during a press conference with Mayor Bottoms on Sunday.
‘We understand the frustration of Rayshard Brooks, we understand,’ Charmine said.
‘We ain’t got nothing to do with that, we innocent. We didn’t mean no harm. My baby didn’t mean no harm.’
The shooting happened at around 9:50pm Saturday at the All American Package Store, close to the Wendy´s restaurant where Brooks was killed by an Atlanta police officer on June 12.
The Wendy’s – which was burned down in protests after Brooks’ killing – has since become a site for demonstrations against police brutality.
It was turned into a sort of autonomous zone, similar to Seattle’s CHOP, and has been the target of scrutiny for city officials as illegal barricades were erected to keep others out.
Video from the scene of the shooting shows people running for cover after gunmen opened fire
The tragic shooting took place near a local Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was shot dead by a police officer in June
The Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was killed has since become a popular site for Black Lives Matter protests
Authorities said the mother had attempted to drive through illegally placed barricades in the area when the vehicle came under fire Saturday night.
In a statement Sunday, police said the girl was in a car with her mother and a friend of the mother when they got off Interstate-75/85 onto University Avenue and were trying to enter a parking lot nearby.
They ran into a group of armed individuals who had blocked the entrance.
‘At some point, someone in that group opened fire on the vehicle, striking it multiple times and striking the child who was inside,’ the statement read.
Pictured: Protesters chant outside a Wendy’s restaurant where Rayshard Brooks died, but locals said the area has become overrun with armed community members
Rayhard Brooks (pictured) was killed by an Atlanta Police Department officer in June at a local Wendy’s restaurant
Secoriea’s mother drove the girl to Atlanta Medical Center but she did not survive.
Authorities are offering a a $10,000 reward to for any information leading to an arrest and indictment of suspects.
Police said they are seeking help from the public to identify those involved and released a wanted poster saying a person all dressed in black and another in a white T-shirt were being sought.
‘An 8-year-old girl was killed last night because her mother was riding down the street,’ Bottoms said. ‘If Secoriea was not safe last night, none of us are safe.’
‘Somebody knows something,’ said Charmine during the press conference, while the child’s father, Secoriya Williamson, comforted her.
Secoriya Williamson: ‘They killed my baby because she crossed a barrier and made a U-turn. You killed a child. She didn’t do nothing to nobody’
Williamson then took the mic and, while his voice broke from the pain, called out the shooters for apparent hypocrisy.
‘They say Black lives matter. You killed your own. You killed your own this time,’ said Williamson.
‘Just because of a barrier. They killed my baby because she crossed a barrier and made a U-turn. You killed a child. She didn’t do nothing to nobody.’
Soon after, Charmine was overcome with grief and had to be escorted out of the press conference by family members.
‘This is a child’s life gone too soon, we are pleading, anybody, if you know anybody that knows somebody that knows this person or persons, please, we beg you, we beg you, please, please let’s do this. Bring this in for justice,’ said the child’s aunt, April Turner.
‘Whoever did this, we’re asking the public, we are pleading. Call Crime Stoppers, call Atlanta Homicide, if you’re in a different county, DeKalb County, call DeKalb County homicide.
Bottoms announced that the death of Secoriea was the final straw as authorities now plan to shut down and clear out the autonomous zone near the Wendy’s.
Bottoms said there have been problems with protesters in the area putting up barriers to close off the street.
She said she received a message that the barriers were back up less than an hour before she was informed that the 8-year-old girl had died.
Bottoms said: ‘At the request of Councilmember Sheperd, our public safety chair and our city council president, we had not completely closed the Wendy’s location yet … giving them an opportunity to have discussions with the people who were still at the Wendy’s.
‘Well, we’re not having any more discussions. It’s over.’
Pictured: eight-year-old Secoriea Turner who was killed by a gunshot wound on Saturday
Pictured: “RIP Rayshard” is spray-painted on a sign as flames engulf a Wendy’s restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by police in Atlanta
An armed protester awaits the casket of Rayshard Brooks to pass by the area where he was killed near a Wendy’s restaurant in June
A man armed with a rifle stands guard at the memorial that has grown around the Wendy’s restaurant that was set on fire after Rayshard Brooks was killed
The attack which killed Secoriea was one of several shootings that occurred in Atlanta on Fourth of July night, which saw 23 people shot and wounded during celebrations.
Gun violence unfolds across the US over July 4 weekend
New York City: 37 injured, 6 killed
Chicago: 63 injured, 17 killed
Philadelphia: 14 injured, 5 dead
Baltimore: 8 injured, 1 killed
Detroit: 5 injured, 2 killed
Greenville: 8 injured, 2 killed
Memphis: 4 injured, 1 killed
Omaha: 8 injured
Cleveland: 4 injured
St. Louis: 11 injured, 3 killed
As of 8pm EST, July 5
It came as gun violence rang out across the country on Independence Day with 80 people shot in Chicago and 44 in New York City.
President Trump promised to intervene in the cities amid growing violence, tweeting: ‘Chicago and New York City crime numbers are way up. 67 people shot in Chicago, 13 killed. Shootings up significantly in NYC where people are demanding that [Governor Cuomo] & [Mayor Bill de Blasio] act now. Federal Government ready, willing and able to help, if asked!’
In Atlanta, a large block party was disrupted by several gunshots after one car doing ‘donuts’ in the parking lot hit another.
District 12 councilmember Joyce Sheperd told 11 Alive that the group occupying the Wendy’s had gone back on its initial stance.
‘Their position was that they were policing the site because they were not the ones who were doing the shooting,’ said Shephard.
‘They were not the ones doing the protesting that was violent.’
Similar calls to action were made by public officials and celebrities.
Felicia Moore, the President of the Atlanta City Council, described the appalling incident ‘unacceptable.’
‘The killing of the 8 yr old girl, and the multiple shootings among other atrocities that occurred last night/this morning are heartbreaking, leaving me angry,’ she wrote on Twitter.
‘It’s unacceptable, and the message must be sent that it will not be allowed to continue!’
Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik wrote: ‘Where is Keisha Bottoms and the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office? They have allowed this lawlessness!’
Moore: ‘The killing of the 8 yr old girl, and the multiple shootings among other atrocities that occurred last night/this morning are heartbreaking, leaving me angry. Pictured: Secoriea Turner
Pictured: The Atlanta Police Department is offering a reward up to $10,000 for any information that will lead to an indictment in the case
At the moment, authorities said that the tragic shooting was not related to protests in any way.
Police said two other people, in addition to the 8-year-old, were killed and more than 20 people were injured in incidents of gunfire and violence during the long holiday weekend.
The mayor said the city’s 911 system was flooded with calls Saturday night and pointed to protesters who damaged a Georgia State Patrol headquarters in Atlanta in a separate incident early Sunday.
Elsewhere, Fourth of July night proved especially violent and, in some cases, deadly.
In New York City, at least 41 people were shot, six fatally, in shootings overnight, police said.
A 21-year-old man died after he was shot in the chest at about 12.45am Sunday in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
Less than two hours later a 23-year-old man was shot in the back in Harlem before being rushed to the hospital.
A 40-year-old man was fatally shot in the chest on Sutter Avenue in Brooklyn.
In another incident, a 19-year-old was shot in the chest and a 27-year-old was shot in the shoulder in East Flatbush. The 19-year-old was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
A 29-year-old man was also fatally shot in the chest on East 170th Street in the Bronx on Sunday evening.
The incidents came after the city experienced it’s deadliest June in 24 years with 205 shootings reported.
Meanwhile, one of the children killed in Chicago was identified by her family as seven-year-old Natalie Wallace.
Members of the New York Police Department examine a bullet hole in the front windshield of a marked police vehicle outside the 40th Precinct on Sunday in the Bronx
The girl was playing outside her grandmother’s house in the city’s Austin neighborhood during a Fourth of July party when a vehicle pulled up and three men emerged and began shooting indiscriminately at about 7pm.
Natalie was shot in the head and rushed to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to the Chicago Tribune.
‘Chicago’s heart is broke,’ Chicago police Chief Fred Waller said. ‘A 7-year-old girl was taken from us. She was here visiting family. Now she’s gone.’
Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted: ‘Tonight, a 7-year-old girl in Austin joined a list of teenagers and children whose hopes and dreams were ended by the barrel of a gun.
In New York City at least four people were killed and 37 were injured in shootings during July 4th revelry. Police are pictured at the scene where a 23-year-old man was killed in Harlem
‘We cannot grow numb to this. We are making progress in slowing shootings, but we have to do better, every single one of us.’
Seven other people were wounded in the same Austin attack, including a 32-year-old man who is now in fair condition.
In Detroit two people were killed and five were injured in gun violence over the holiday weekend.
A family of five people was driving home from a cook out when they were shot around 1am on Saturday in the 8300 block of Homer Street when someone pulled up beside them and started shooting.
A 39-year-old woman died in the shooting. A 40-year-old man is in critical condition and the three other male victims – aged nine, 12, and 15 – are expected to survive, according to ClickOnDetroit.
In response to the troubling succession of incidents, Trump tweeted that crime in Chicago and New York City is ‘way up’.
‘Shootings up significantly in NYC where people are demanding that [Gov. Andrew Cuomo] and [Mayor Bill de Blasio] act now,’ Trump continued. ‘Federal Government ready, willing and able to help, if asked.’