The person who died in a shooting Saturday night near a popular shopping destination in Atlanta was 12 years old and all five people who were injured were minors, authorities said Sunday.
Mayor Andre Dickens confirmed the ages of the victims on Sunday, and police suggested that some minors who were among them during the violence will be arrested in connection with the death.
“We anticipate that arrest warrants will be issued,” Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a news conference with the mayor.
The victims and suspects were part of a group of teenagers driven out of Atlantic Station Saturday before gunshots erupted outside the mall around 8 p.m., police said.
“Everyone involved was a teenager, and we recovered three guns from the scene yesterday,” the chief said.
The group was removed under a 3 p.m. curfew from the 18-and-under mall without a parent, and for being disruptive, police said. The group included minors who knew each other and who had a dispute earlier in the month, Schierbaum said.
As the group was traveling alongside the property near the Atlanta Connector, where Interstates 75 and 85 merge, an altercation may have led to gunshots, authorities said. The mayor and his boss said there could have been more than one shooter. “There was a shooting,” Dickens said.
The mayor criticized parents for allowing minors to travel far from home without supervision. He said after speaking with the parents of the victims, it’s clear some were unaware their children were in Atlantic Station unsupervised on Saturday.
“It’s important to know where your child is at all times,” Dickens said.
He praised his officers who work under the auspices of the mall, which he said covered the payment of special retail assignments. And he praised the officers and their non-sworn security for “keeping to the curfew.”
The unaccounted time between the 3 p.m. curfew and the 8 p.m. shooting was not explained, and police and the mayor’s office did not immediately respond to requests for more information.
The mall’s management said in a statement that employs twenty-six security peopleincluding the officers you pay to patrol the mall property.
The victims included Atlanta public school students, Dickens said, and one remained in critical condition.
“When a 12-year-old boy dies in our city, on the streets of our city…the whole town has a responsibility and the whole town is affected,” Dickens said at the news conference.
The shooting took place on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.
kurt chirbas Y denis romero contributed.