Community holds vigil for father killed in officer-involved shooting

ATLANTA — An Atlanta activist is hosting a vigil Sunday night to honor an Atlanta man who was killed in an officer-involved shooting early Sunday morning.

Gabriel Parker, 38, was killed when shots rang out at a large block party around 1:05 a.m. on James Jackson Parkway.

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Atlanta police have acknowledged that an officer fired his weapon, but didn’t say if the officer killed Parker or if someone else at the party fired the fatal shot.

The community plans to gather at the scene of the shooting at 7 p.m.

Kevin Barrington-Ward, a community organizer and candidate for Atlanta City Council, is hosting the vigil.


Parker’s family told Barrington-Ward that witnesses said Parker was trying to deescalate a fight when the officer shot him.

“In video footage that has now gone viral, attendees of the event are seen visibly upset and demanding answers from the officer who witnesses claim fired the shots that killed Gabriel,” Barrington-Ward said in a statement.

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According to Barrington-Ward, several witnesses said the officer did not render aid.

“My heart aches for Gabriel’s family and the child he leaves behind,” said Devin Barrington-Ward. “We need our community to wrap our arms around this family right now and we need investigators to promise a full and transparent investigation.”

Atlanta police have not identified the officer involved in the shooting. Another man was also shot and injured. They said two handguns were found at the scene.

The GBI is conducting an independent investigation.