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Atlanta mayor pleads for violence to end after 8-year-old girl is shot dead


July 6 (UPI) — Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms pleaded with the public to end violence in the city, which has been disrupted by weeks of protests, after an eight-year-old girl was shot and killed over the weekend.

“Enough is enough,” Bottoms said during a press conference on Sunday. “Enough is enough.”

Secoriea Turner, 8, was shot and killed on Saturday night near a Wendy’s location that has become the focal point of anti-police brutality protests after Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black man, was fatally shot by a white police officer in the fast-food restaurant’s parking lot on June 12.

Police said in a statement that Turner, her mother and an adult friend were in a vehicle that was attempting to enter a parking lot demonstrators had illegally barricaded when they were confronted by a group of armed individuals, some of whom opened fire, striking the vehicle multiple times “and striking the child who was inside.”

Turned later died at a local hospital.

Bottoms said at least two people in the group shot the car, pleading with the public for anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.

“I’m just asking you to please honor this baby’s life. Please, if you know who did this, please turn them in. These people are a danger to all of us,” she said surrounded by members of Turner’s family.

There have been more than 75 shootings in the last few weeks, including two other fatal shootings from Saturday night, Bottoms said, warning the violence may harm the protesters’ movement demanding police reforms and racial equality.

“We have talked about this movement that is happening across America at this moment in time when we have the ears and interest of people across this country and across this globe who are saying they want to see change,” she said.

She said that they were “fighting the enemy within” when they shoot each other in the streets, and if they want people to take their movement seriously then “we can’t lose each other.”

“This random, wild, wild west shot ’em up because you can has got to stop. It has to stop. You can’t blame this on the police officer, you can’t say this is about criminal justice reform — this is about some people carrying some weapons who shot up a car with an eight-year-old baby in the car. For what?” she said. “It’s simple: We got to stop this. We’re doing each other more harm than any police officer on this force.”

“If you want people to take us seriously, and you don’t want us to lose this movement, then we can’t lose each other,” she said.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said he was praying for Turner’s family and urged anyone with information about the shooting to contact the police.

“Our hearts absolutely break for this precious life senselessly taken,” he said in a statement on Facebook.

Police have offered a $10,000 reward for information on the shooting, describing one of the shooters as dressed in all black “like a bounty hunter” and the other as a man wearing a white t-shirt.


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