Chief: 'Punks and cowards' killed kids inside Clayton County home

by: Mark Winne Updated:

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JONESBORO, Ga. - Only Channel 2 Action News sat down with Clayton County's police chief Monday afternoon to talk about the investigation into the deaths of two children found dead in a home over the weekend.

Clayton County Police Chief Mike Register told Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne that gang members were targeting a different teen when they killed the brother and sister in their Jonesboro home on Saturday.

“There is nothing glamorous about being in a gang. What happened to that 11-year-old and that 15-year-old that morning -- you can call yourself whatever you want, but the cold, hard facts are you are a punk and a coward and a murderer to go in and do what you did,” Register told Winne.    

Register confirms investigators believe the murders of 11-year-old Tatiyana Coates and her 15-year-old brother Daveon are the brutal handiwork of a gang.

“As a police officer certainly it turns my stomach. As a father it terrifies me, and as a citizen it makes me mad,” Register said.


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A gang looking for someone who wasn't even home. But Register said he's pouring plenty into looking for the killers.

“We're not going to spare any resource to find out who's responsible,” Register told Winne.  

Register confirms some of the Clayton County Police Department’s investigators headed to Chattanooga along with members of the FBI-Atlanta Safe Streets Gang Task Force.

“You’re aware of a running gunbattle between vehicles in Chattanooga Sunday afternoon?” Winne asked Register.

“We are aware of an incident we believe is related to the homicide that occurred here in Clayton County,” Register said. “It appears that there's a possibility that a vehicle that was seen near the crime scene Saturday morning may have been involved in the incident that occurred in Chattanooga.”

Register said that’s still under investigation. 

The chief says another 15-year-old with alleged gang connections was the apparent intended target in Clayton County, but he was not there.

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Register said that teen and at least one other person may be in grave danger still.

The chief said communities across metro Atlanta and the state are in grave danger from gangs and he hopes this case causes communities to come together against gangs.

“Let’s do this together, let’s join together,” Register said.

Register told Winne that the mother whose children were killed had taken in another family to help them, and the 15-year-old with alleged gang ties was a member of that family.


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