Mentoring program leader says 13-year-old’s death outside skating rink is ‘public health issue’

ATLANTA — There are still a lot of questions about what happened outside a family entertainment center in Southwest Atlanta.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office told Channel 2′s Larry Spruill that 13-year old DeShon DuBose was shot and killed outside the Cascade Skating Center on Saturday night.

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Atlanta police are still trying to figure out what happened outside the Cascade Skating Rink.

It was around 11:24 Saturday night, when officers responded to the parking lot of Cascade Family Skating off of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Southwest Atlanta, for a shooting.

Youth and crime expert, Bruce Griggs is with ‘Save Our Sons’ mentoring program and he deals with st-risk teens. He said the violence in the community is getting out of hand.

“Another one,” said Griggs.

He said what’s going on in our country, in our city, is out of hand.

“It’s got to be addressed as a public health issue. These young people are out and committing senseless crimes. They have continuous access, to guns,” said Griggs.

Griggs said solving the gun violence requires a lot more work, than what’s being done.

“This is National Mentoring month. I’m not knocking the basketball programs. I’m not knocking the chess programs, but these are not the programs that’s going to change these violent behaviors.”


Griggs said you have to reach the teens where they are and at a young age.

“We’ve got to get to them as early as five or six years old.”

As for the shooting of the 13-year old, Griggs thinks “I’m almost certain, that the perpetrator of this crime, is under 15 years old,” said Griggs.

Atlanta City Council Member Andrea Boone released a statement about DuBose’s:

“This is a somber time for our community as a young boy’s life was tragically cut short. This type of violence is especially abnormal for this area. The skating rink has in many ways been a safe haven for families. It has been that way for decades because Cascade Family Skating and the Alexander family have poured love and care into this treasure of Southwest Atlanta. It is a true staple of the Adamsville community and the city of Atlanta. To see this type of violence is deeply disturbing. Any loss of life is felt in our community, but for such a young boy to fall victim to this here, it is very tragic.”

Councilmember Keisha Waites also released a statement and said if they can’t take guns off the streets, at least take the children off of the streets.

“If we can’t take guns off the streets, the least we can do is take our children off the streets,” she said. “If we had an enforced curfew, there is a possibility we could have saved our city’s most recent teenage murder victim.”

Councilmember Keisha Waites proposed a curfew following the November murder of 12-year-old Zyion Charles; as the body count of teenage gun victims rises, Waites continues to push for the City Council to protect the youths. Councilmember Waites says she is optimistic the resolution will make it out of Public Safety Committee on Monday.

“If we can’t take Guns off The Streets, the least we can do is take our children off the streets. As I have said before, this is not a panacea, but it’s something that can help save lives.”

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