Paulding County

11-year-old boy killed when shooters open fire on his home in Paulding County

PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. — The family of an 11-year-old boy shot to death inside his home says he was an innocent bystander.

The shooting happened just after 11 p.m. Monday.

Channel 2′s Audrey Washington was in Paulding County, where she talked to Zander Whatley’s parents.

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Whatley’s father asked Washington not to identify him because he said the shooters are still on the loose. He said that last night, a group of young men who had an issue with one of his other sons pulled up to the family’s home on Ruth Way and opened fire.

Everyone survived except for Zander.


“He was a great little kid, man,” his father said. “Something that happened to someone that shouldn’t have even happened.”

Zander’s father said when the group of people came to his home, his son told them he wanted nothing to do with the fight.

“He’s not picking sides because he’s not in the middle of it,” his dad said. “And the next thing we know, we hear gunshots and we’re all ducking trying to get out of harm’s way.”

Bullet holes still riddled the windows on the side of the house Tuesday.

The Paulding County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement Tuesday, writing:

“The investigation is in the early stages and Paulding County Detectives are currently in the process of developing leads.”

Zander’s father said he and his older son know at least one of the people behind the shooting.

“It was two shooters, so we don’t know who the other one was, but they’re looking for them,” he said. “They’re doing the best that they can.”

Anyone who has information is asked to contact the Paulding Sheriff’s Office tip line at (770)-443-3047, or via the Paulding Sheriff’s Office mobile app, which can be downloaded for free.

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