$10,000 reward offered in shooting of 7-year-old girl near Phipps Plaza

ATLANTA — Police are looking for whoever fired the shot that hit a 7-year-old girl as she rode in the car.

The shooting happened Monday night near Phipps Plaza, which is busy with holiday shoppers this time of year.

Atlanta police held a news conference Tuesday afternoon where officers said that these senseless shootings have to stop.

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Police said they are getting fed up with violence in the Buckhead shopping district.

The latest victim was the 7-year-old girl who was riding in her aunt’s car. The woman was driving past Phipps Plaza before 9 p.m. Monday and heard several gunshots. She drove a little further and said the little girl was acting strangely. She realized she had been shot, so she drove her directly to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta - Scottish Rite Hospital.

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“On behalf of the men and woman of Zone 2 precinct, are hearts go out to the victims and families,” said Atlanta spokesperson Andrew Senzer.

Police say the little girl was likely hit by a stray bullet during a confrontation between two groups of men in the Phipps Plaza parking lot.

“We do know that there was a dispute involving multiple males in the parking lot of Saks Fifth Avenue. We don’t know if that dispute led to the shooting. We have security camera video and we are recovering and going through that video,” said Atlanta Police Homicide Detective Peter Malecki.

There’s been an upswing in gun violence in the Buckhead Shopping District.

“The level of gun violence we are seeing is really concerning to law enforcement as a whole and I continue to have conversations with chiefs across the country on how we can combat this,” said Interim Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant.

Police have investigated seven gun-related incidents since December of last year.

“We stop individuals with guns on a weekly basis. Just yesterday our officer stopped an individual trying to enter a mall. He took a gun and threw it into the garage pail and took off running. Our officers detained the individual and discovered he was a convicted felon,” Senzer said.

The little girl who was shot Monday is in critical condition.

A $10,000 CrimeStopper reward is being offered in the case.