Father says son was killed trying to defend woman



ATLANTA - The father of one of the victims in a double slaying said his son was trying to break up an argument when he was killed, along with the woman he was trying to protect.

Derrick Hurst told Channel 2's Tony Thomas his son, Derrick Pitts, was killed Wednesday afternoon.

"He was just trying to stop the fight and he got in between and a good person just went down when the deal went wrong," Hurst said.

Atlanta police said a dispute broke out between a man and a woman on Holly Street in northwest Atlanta just before 5 p.m. Wednesday. Detectives have not identified anyone involved, but witnesses said when Pitts drove up, he tried to intervene in the heated argument. He knew both people involved, but the other man opened fire, witnesses said.

"As soon as I hit the street back there, I heard 10 shots back-to-back," a witness told Thomas.

Relatives of the suspect told Thomas off-camera that he is ex-military. They said he was recently kicked out of the service and had an on-again-off-again relationship with the female victim.

The cause of the argument is unknown.

"We understand the suspect of that particular crime was a parent of one of the children of the female that was involved," Deputy Chief Shawn Jones of APD said.

As police collected evidence at the scene, fights broke out between relatives of some of those involved. News Chopper 2 spotted an officer tackling a man to the ground. From a distance, helicopter footage shows Hurst being held back by officers and another relative being taken to a squad car.

"He's my world. I just hope whoever knows there that boy is, who shot and killed him, turns him in or someone turns him in," Hurst said.

Police have only identified the suspect as a 28-year-old man with a slim build who fled the shooting scene without a shirt on.