Mother of 12-year-old boy shot, killed near Atlantic Station begged for help from Atlanta police

ATLANTA — “I tried y’all. I called the police department 30 times,” said the mother of Zyion Charles to the Atlanta City Council on Monday.

She said she begged Atlanta Police to take custody of her son, citing behavioral problems and concerns about the crowd she said her son associated with.

“They told me they can’t do nothing. I said, ‘He’s out there breaking in folks’ cars. Can you please get him off the streets?’”

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Now, there is heightened security in and around Atlantic Station following the shooting death of Zyion Charles.

Someone shot and killed the boy along the 17th street bridge on Saturday.

“We see guns in the hands of angry individuals that lead to tragic outcomes,” Atlanta Police Department Chief Darin Schierbaum said.

According to police, a large group of teens began fighting inside Atlantic Station Saturday evening.

Security kicked the teens out of the area for unruly behavior. But police said the fighting continued on the 17th street bridge.

They said at one point, several people took out guns and started shooting.

In total, six young people, including Zyion Charles, were shot. Charles later died.

Ivahana Slakaa witnessed the shooting. “Multiple shots erupted, and from multiple firearms and it was like a stampede,” said Slakaa.


On Monday, an Atlantic Station representative sent Channel 2′s Audrey Washington the following statement:

Atlantic Station is helping law enforcement in every way possible during the active investigation following the incident on the 17th Street bridge. Atlantic Station is private property and has a 24/7 security team comprised of off-duty Atlanta Police Department officers and Atlantic Station security personnel that strictly enforce the Code of Conduct and curfew on property. Atlantic Station stands behind its security team, and had 26 off-duty police officers and security on staff the night of the incident. After violating the Code of Conduct regulations, the group of juveniles was immediately dispersed and escorted off property to 17th Street where the incident occurred, which is the city of Atlanta’s jurisdiction.

The community’s safety continues to be Atlantic Station’s top priority, and Atlantic Station has been working with the APD to enact several increased security measures on property, including:

· The number of law enforcement officers on-site has been doubled into the foreseeable future to discourage group gatherings, combat crime and help enforce curfew.

· Atlantic Station is a part of APD’s evening watch program, which confirms that active officers must stay within the footprint of Atlantic Station to be ready to respond quickly to any future incidents, as they were able to do as it relates to the overnight incident.

· Ongoing meetings will be scheduled with APD to continue discussions about how to further enhance security at Atlantic Station.

A curfew remains in place at Atlantic Station.

The curfew requires all minors to be accompanied by an adult after 3 p.m.

Atlanta police continue to search for the shooter.

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