ATLANTA — By late Sunday night, Atlanta police had responded to at least 10 people shot in different shootings spread out across the city.
Among the incidents, an officer-involved shooting at a block party near Hamilton E. Holmes Drive, a triple shooting northwest Atlanta and the Saturday afternoon shooting death of 17-year old Jakari Dillard at the Anderson Park swimming pool.
Saturday night, the popular swimming pool was blanketed by police lights and crime scene tape after the shooting. Atlanta police say it was the result of a argument that escalated.
“Witnesses were trying to break it up, and the suspect went to his property grabbed a fire arm and shot him”
“Witnesses were performing life saving measures on him,” said Atlanta Police Homicide Commander Daniel Genson. “The witnesses were trying to break it up, and the suspect went to his property grabbed a fire arm and shot him”
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Less that 24 hours after Dillard’s death, the Mayor’s Office announced the immediate shut down of all 12 city owned pools. They did not say it was directly related to the shooting death, only that the decision was made out of an abundance of caution and for the safety of residents.
Hours before the pool closure was issued, Brittany Rice, founder of the Hoop Factory non-profit organization, held a back-to-school event for at-risk teens at the same pool where Saturday’s shooting happened.
Rice told Channel 2′s Ashli Lincoln there need to be better long term solutions offered to help deter crime instead of shutting down the pools.
“I try to do what I can to keep the teens and the youth out of trouble,” Rice said. “I honestly don’t think it will stop crime, I think it gives them a way to find somewhere else to bring it to.”
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Lincoln also spoke to Tori Durrett, who’s an educator in the city. Durrett was at the pool early Sunday afternoon and said there’s no good reason for all of the shooting incidents.
“It’s always tough, to understand why it’s happening in our community and what more can we do to try and help prevent these things,” Durrett said.
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Lincoln asked the Mayor’s Office why they shut the pools down. It said it was to complete an operational assessment of the outdoor city owned pools.
Several sources told Lincoln the decision was spurred by resident complaints about a lack of lifeguards and a need for more security officers.
Last week, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms proposed a $70 million plan to help reduce crime which includes a plan to hire more police officers.
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