Family makes plea for answers in death of local college student

ATLANTA — Atlanta police are asking for the public's help in an investigation into the shooting death of a local college student who is also the nephew of an Atlanta city councilwoman.

Darius Bottoms, 18, graduated from Benjamin E. Mays High School and was a sophomore at Atlanta Metropolitan College.

Atlanta police said Bottoms was leaving the area of Legacy Drive in the early morning of Friday, June 13, when someone walked into the intersection in front of him.

According to investigators, Bottoms and a friend in the car with him didn't recognize the man and began to turn around to drive in the other direction but the man opened fire.

A round went through the windshield and struck Bottoms, killing him. The car rolled back and hit a parked car. Bottoms' friend told police he ran away as the man was still firing.

Bottoms' family made a plea for information about his killer Wednesday night.

"He smiled all the time whether he was going through up times or down times. That's what I'm going to miss," said his grandmother Lenora Flanagan.

She described her grandson as a kind spirit who avoided confrontations.

"Why? We just want to know why Darius," Flanagan said. 

Bottoms was also the nephew of Atlanta City Councilmember Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Bottoms told Channel 2 Action News her nephew's friend said they hadn't been involved in any confrontation that night.

"Best we know he had been to a party with some friends, and was dropping a friend off and someone opened fire." Keisha Lance Bottoms said. "He was our world. Just really, really, hard."

Detective David Quinn with Atlanta police said investigators have leads but are looking for more information, even anonymous tips from the public.

"He was gunned down in our city," Quinn said. "We want you to say not another Atlanta youth gets killed this summer. We want to end this thing."

Police asked anyone with information in this case to contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.