Patrols beefed up in East Atlanta after shootings

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ATLANTA - Atlanta police made a visible show of force in East Atlanta Village a day after officers canvased the nearby Grant Park neighborhood looking for clues in a series of violent crimes.

Someone gunned down 33-year-old computer engineer Patrick Cotrona Saturday night as he walked home with friends from an East Atlanta bar.

Police think the gunman may be responsible for a series of violent armed robberies in the area and could be linked to the shooting of a Braves fan as he walked home from Turner Field through Grant Park.

Officers showed surveillance video of two people they think could be responsible for that crime, and they canvased that neighborhood looking for information.

"Shortly after the canvass we did receive some Crime Stopper information that could be beneficial to the investigation," said APD spokesperson Sgt. Greg Lyon.

The Grant Park Neighborhood Association kicked in an additional $500 to the $2,000 Crime Stoppers reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in that crime.

In East Atlanta, APD's mounted patrol could be seen riding through the area, and police said residents can expect to see other additions too.

That's good news for East Atlanta Community Association President Kevin Spigener, who said it's time city leaders take notice of their ongoing crime concerns.

"It's the tipping point," said Spigener. "We have had our fair share of crime, but this is the tipping point. We're no longer going to stand for East Atlanta or our neighboring communities to be held hostage by the criminals."

Many East Atlanta residents want to see a more permanent police presence including the additional of surveillance cameras tied into the city's video integration system.

Funeral arrangements have been made for Cotrona. The visitation and funeral service for Cotrona will be held at Carl J. Mowell & Sons Funeral Home at 200 Robinson Road, in Peachtree City Thursday. The visitation begins at noon and the funeral will follow at 2 p.m.