DA ‘really disgusted’ bond was granted to alleged gang member accused of shooting APD officer

ATLANTA — A man accused of shooting a police officer and firing at another has been granted bond.

Christian Eppinger is accused of shooting Officer David Rodgers six times near the Colonial Square Apartment homes off Old Hapeville Road on Feb. 7.

Police said Rodgers and other officers were trying to take Eppinger, who is allegedly a known gang member, into custody who had outstanding warrants for a robbery and aggravated assault with a firearm from October 2021.

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Eppinger was denied bond during his first appearance hearing after the shooting in February. On Tuesday, a judge granted him bond at a new hearing.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant held a news conference Wednesday to criticize the decision.

“The mayor and me have been really disgusted with this, as well of the chief of police. Because while he was on probation, it was clear that he was not monitored. He did not report,” Willis said.

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Prosecutors previously described Eppinger as a documented YSL gang member who has been involved in violent crimes since he was 13 years old.

YSL stands for “Young Slime Life,” a street gang that prosecutors say Eppinger has been a member of since 2019 .They also claim that the letters YSL are tattooed on Eppinger’s right cheek.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne spoke with Willis in February about Eppinger’s record.

In 2016, when Eppinger was just 16 years old, he was accused of pointing a gun in the face of a young mother with her small child during a carjacking, and crashed her car as he fled from police.

The DA’s office said Eppinger was indicted as an adult on a long list of charges but allowed to plead as a first offender to reduced charges in a deal that netted him a five-year prison sentence, plus probation.

[RELATED: Man accused of shooting APD officer would still be in jail if plea was handled differently]

Willis, who was not the elected DA in 2016, said one charge alone in the indictment -- armed robbery -- would have netted Eppinger a mandatory minimum 10-year sentence had it not been pled down to robbery.

“He would have been still in. He would’ve had to do nine years of the 10,” Willis told Winne.

A Georgia Department of Community Supervision official said Eppinger reported to the DCS Atlanta field office in May 2021 after his release from prison to begin his probation.

But since then, he had failed to report to DCS for probation supervision.