15-Year-Old Shot To Death In Atlanta, Continuing Pattern Of Child Victims To Gun Violence In City

Another teenager was shot and killed in Atlanta over the weekend, continuing a worsening pattern of children falling victim to gun violence in the city.

On Saturday night, Laila Harris, a 15-year-old girl, was killed at a high school party in Clayton County.

“We need your assistance to find justice for Laila Harris,” Sgt. Julia Issac said at a news conference on Monday. She said the shooter had been kicked out of the party earlier that night, and later “came back with an accomplice, and he shot up the location.”

When the police showed up, hundreds of kids fled the scene. Issac said that investigators do not believe Harris was the shooter’s intended target.

One week before Harris was killed, a 12-year-old boy was shot and killed in midtown Atlanta.

Zyion Charles, 12, was killed in a shooting just outside of Atlantic Station that wounded five other young people. Atlanta Police said the shootings occurred after a group of young people were expelled from Atlantic Station due to their curfew and unruly behavior.

According to Charles’ mother, her son “became caught up with young people who she described as bad influences who committed crimes such as car break-ins,” Fox 5 Atlanta reported.

The children’s deaths come amid an epidemic of children and teenagers falling victim to gun violence in Atlanta.

According to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the number of children and teenagers killed by gun violence so far in 2022 dwarves the number killed in 2021, which itself was already a high number.

“In 2021, more than two dozen children and teenagers were killed by gun violence in metro Atlanta and several others were injured. That violence has continued in 2022,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. “As of Dec. 4, there have been at least 71 children under the age of 18 shot. Of them at least 37 have died.”

In response to the series of shootings involving children and teenagers across Atlanta, local community activist Mea Ballinger called for unity to end gun violence.

“This is ridiculous. And I know the saying that you don’t want to snitch, it’s not about snitching. You’re saving someone’s life,” she said. “Some don’t want to hear it, but it starts at home. We need parenting. We need our teachers, our preachers, our educators to all come together.”

D & B Staff

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