Mom killed in shooting at park while on ‘quick detour’ to watch softball game, father says

ATLANTA — The grieving father of a mother shot and killed during a neighborhood baseball game at an Atlanta park is describing the final hours of his daughter’s life.

April Sparks, 33, was one of six people shot at Rosa L. Burney Park on Sunday. Rashad Rogers, 31, was also killed. A 6-year-old girl remains in critical condition.

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Channel 2′s Michael Seiden talked to April Sparks’ grieving father, Michael Sparks, on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Michael Sparks said his daughter had just left his home with her kids when she decided to make a quick stop at the park to watch a softball game with friends.


“She made a detour and went by the park where they would normally be hanging out there for the last couple of weeks,” Michael Sparks said. “The community was playing softball.”

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That’s when an argument led to gunfire. Police have still not arrested the shooter.

Michael Sparks said before she was killed, his daughter spent the afternoon with him and his granddaughter.

“We ate. I cooked dinner,” Michael Sparks said. “She said she was getting ready to go home to prepare her kids to go to the school.”

On Monday night, Atlanta police released photos of a man who appears to have a gun in his hands. They initially described him as a suspect, but later issued a correction calling the man a person of interest who is wanted for questioning.

April Sparks’ family said they are cherishing the moments they had together.

“She always had a great personality. A beautiful smile. The best hug in the world,” Michael Sparks said. “Somebody knows something.”

Family members identified the 6-year-old by her first name, Serenity. The identities and conditions of the four other victims have not been released.