Man fatally shot while walking on sidewalk



ATLANTA - Authorities are now identifying the man who was shot and killed as he walked along a sidewalk in southwest Atlanta.

Longtime residents and other people in the area at about 8 p.m. Saturday said gunfire erupted on Beecher Street, where 25-year-old Jerome Rice, of Atlanta, was shot dead and left on a sidewalk.

“I would tend to think in this area that there was most likely witnesses, so we are asking them to come forward and help us out," Atlanta Police Lt. Paul Guerrucci told Channel 2’s Liz Artz.

Detectives don't have a motive and they don't know what happened in the moments that led up to the shooting, which occurred near a busy intersection, right across from a Family Dollar store. Detectives said the store is equipped with surveillance cameras, which might be useful in the case.

"We are in the process of actively seeking if there are any video that may have captured the event," Guerrucci said.

One man, who only identified himself as Ben, said he’s lived in the area a long time and violence in is far too common around Beecher Street.

“There’s always gunfire here. Everyday you'll hear gunfire. It’s not a joke," he said.

He said there was an area shootout just last night where apparently no one was injured.

“We just need some police force over here; a lot of shootings," he said.

On Saturday, Artz said there was heavy police presence, with homicide detectives walking the neighborhood, searching for clues that will explain how the victim ended up dead on a sidewalk.

“The scene is a pretty violent incident, so I can understand people's apprehension,"  Guerrucci said.