Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told protesters Sunday to “clear out” of an area near where Rayshard Brooks was killed by police last month after an 8-year-old girl was fatally shot near the site over the weekend.
“You shot and killed a baby,” she said at a news conference. “Enough is enough.”
Bottoms said the girl, Secoriea Turner, was shot Saturday night while riding in a car with her mother and a friend after they tried to pull into a parking lot. The site had been barricaded after Brooks was killed June 12 at a Wendy’s parking lot south of downtown Atlanta, prompting weeks of protests against racial injustice and police brutality.
Interim Police Chief Rodney Bryant said the driver was confronted by a group of armed people who had blocked the entrance, which was less than a half-mile from the Wendy’s.
“At some point someone in the group opened fire, striking the car multiple times,” he said.
Secoriea was pronounced dead at a hospital.
“We understand the frustration of Rayshard Brooks,” the girl’s mother said at the news conference. “We ain’t got nothing to do with that. [We’re] innocent. We didn’t mean no harm. My baby didn’t mean no harm.”
Authorities did not identify any suspects, and it was unclear whether the shooting was connected to protests that Bottoms said have become a feature of the neighborhood since Brooks was killed.
Bottoms said the vast majority of demonstrations in the city have been peaceful, although she said there have been occasional flare-ups, including the alleged attempted firebombing of a state Public Safety Department building early Sunday.
“For every 100 gatherings, we have an incident,” she said. “It’s frustrating.”
Bottoms said authorities had removed other barriers erected by protesters in the area after Brooks’ funeral on June 23. She said she heard that new barriers had been placed there shortly before she learned of Secoriea’s killing.
She said local officials had been trying to talk with demonstrators before closing the area.
The former Atlanta officer who fatally shot Brooks, Garrett Rolfe, was charged with felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and other crimes after he shot Brooks twice in the back. Brooks had taken a stun gun from police and was running away when he was shot.
A second officer at the scene, Devin Brosnan, was charged with aggravated assault and violation of oath.
Later Sunday, a 53-year old man was killed in a shooting in the area and two other people were wounded, police said.