Paintball fight led 15-year-old to kill toddler in DeKalb, cop says

T'Rhigi Diggs 

“He gone die in jail! He gone die in jail!”

Tensions rose among family Monday in a DeKalb County courtroom as details emerged in the death of T’Rhigi “Ralo” Diggs, a 3-year-old who police say was shot dead on Easter by a middle school student.

The story was bizarre and maddening for the relatives crowded into the pews — for those who came to support the child who is dead, and for those who came on behalf of the child who stands accused of murder.

Detective Chris Tappan said T’Rhigi died because the teen was shooting a handgun at people who’d assaulted him with paintballs. It happened amid a surge of paintball attacks around metro Atlanta in recent months. Atlanta rapper 21 Savage popularized the trend by posting a video online encouraging people to leave their bullets behind and instead use paintballs, the detective said.


The message, seemingly intended to curb violence, had the opposite effect on April 1.

A few carloads of pranksters unleashed a load of paint on the Texaco station on Bouldercrest Road, near Eastland Road. Several people were hit, including 15-year-old Christopher Cullins, the detective testified.

Cullins, who is charged as an adult, was at the Texaco, along with his sister, his mother and his cousin.

After getting pelted, Cullins grabbed a red handgun from his cousin’s car and fired toward the cars that had been shooting the paintballs, the suspect later told police. 

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