Getty Images, AJC
A 15-year-old girl is among 2 dead and 22 wounded in shootings around the Atlanta area over the weekend.
Diamond Johnson, 15, was fatally shot when she got into a fistfight with two groups of teenagers outside the Waffle House in the Glenwood Park shopping plaza on Saturday night.
About three hours later, 22-year-old Antonio Sykes was killed during a shooting outside Artisans Bar and Gallery on Peachtree Street.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced she will hold a press conference on Tuesday morning, May 4 at 10 a.m EST, to discuss Atlanta's deadly crime wave.
Atlanta has seen a 60% rise in homicides from last year when gang bangers moved to the wide open city from locked down blue areas.
"Just as we have overcome challenges in the past, Atlanta will get to the other side of this COVID crime wave and we will get this violence under control," Bottoms said during her state of the city address a few weeks ago.
Atlanta's spiking crime stats are a hindrance to Bottoms' reelection efforts this year.
Most recent crime stats show there have been 208 shootings and 40 homicides in Atlanta in 2021.
Atlanta's crime stats are on par with Chicago, Illinois -- earning Atlanta the nickname "Chiraq South."
Chiraq is a nickname for Chicago. It combines Chicago with Iraq, and is used to refer to a violent city that is similar to a war zone.
More Atlanta police officers have resigned in the last year than in years past. The lack of law enforcement presence on the streets has emboldened criminals to run amok.
"We are committed to putting an additional 250 new officers on the street during the next fiscal year," Bottoms said.
Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the fatal shooting of Diamond Johnson Saturday night. Callers can remain anonymous. 404-577-TIPS (8477).
A Georgia man was captured in Florida and charged with the murder of a 17-year-old girl whose body was found in a Lamar County cemetery on Sunday.
According to Crime Online, authorities tracked 23-year-old Jaylan Jashad Ray to Tallahassee, Florida where he was arrested on Wednesday, and is awaiting extradition back to Georgia.
Lamar County officials says D'Shaunti Kyanni Hunter was shot at least once in the head. Her body was found in a cemetery across the road from Unionville Church in Barnesville, about 50 miles south of Atlanta.
Hunter's body was found on Sunday afternoon, about 40 miles from her home in Ellenwood, Georgia.
Family members were distraught over the news of her murder. "This is crushing us," Hunter's aunt, Jazmine Johnson, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Tuesday. "They stole from us. This is wrong. This is way more than wrong."
Ray is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated assault. He is being held without bond in a Tallahassee Jail.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told the AJC, "I am deeply concerned about the spike that we are seeing in our homicides."
Bottoms recently unveiled a plan to combat violent crime in her city.
"The spike in violent crime in Atlanta and across the country must be addressed by both immediate and long-term actions," Bottoms said in a news release. "The One Atlanta: One APD Immediate Action Plan will address crime, and also the systemic issues that lead to violence."
Atlanta's crime wave has earned the city a nickname, "Chiraq South."
Rapper YFN Lucci has surrendered to police. The 29-year-old father-of-2 -- real name Rayshawn Bennett -- turned himself in late Wednesday night, Jan. 13, after 2 weeks on the run.
Authorities in Atlanta, Georgia, were hunting for Bennett to question him over his alleged involvement in the murder of 28-year-old local man James Adams last month.
He was wanted on suspicion of murder, aggravated assault and participation in criminal street gang activity.
According to local reports, Bennett was booked into the crowded Fulton County Jail just hours after dropping a music video for his new song "Rolled On" on his social media pages.
Two suspects, Ra'von Boyd, 23, and Leroy Pitts, 17, were also arrested following the shootout on December 10, which also left another man wounded.
In a "disturbing" 911 call that led to the felony murder warrant for Bennett's arrest, a woman describes a man clinging to a moving SUV before he was shoved out of the SUV and left for dead in a roadway.
TMZ obtained audio of the frantic 911 call a woman made in Atlanta last month when she saw a white SUV speeding by "with a man hanging out of the car." She says she eventually saw the man thrown out of the car onto the street.
The witness told the operator the victim appeared to have suffered a gunshot wound to the head, and she desperately tried to get an ambulance to the location because the man was "still trying to fight for his life."
She remained on the scene while waiting for the ambulance, standing near the victim -- and said he was "taking his last breath" and he died moments later.
The Atlanta Police Department offered a $5k award for information leading to Bennett's arrest and indictment.
Rapper YFN Lucci is wanted for murder following a shootout that resulted in the death of 28-year-old James Adams in Atlanta.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the shootout occurred on December 10 in the 900 block of Dimmock Street.
Adams later died from a gunshot wound to the head. A second man was shot and stumbled to Fire Station 14. He survived his injuries.
Officers collected multiple spent shell casings at the scene of the shootout and at Fire Station 14.
Two other men, Ra'Von Boyd, 23, and Leroy Pitts, 17, are in custody for their alleged roles in the shootout. Both men are charged with murder, aggravated assault, participating in criminal street gang activity and weapons charges.
Lucci, real name Rayshawn Bennett, 29, is best known for dating rapper Lil Wayne's only daughter, Reginae Carter, 22. Reginae recently reunited with the rapper after the couple broke up multiple times in 2019 and 2020.
After signing with Think It's A Game Entertainment in 2014, Lucci dropped a record titled "Key to the Streets" featuring rap trio Migos in 2016. A remix featured rappers Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz.
A $5,000 reward is being offered for Lucci's arrest. Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, text information to 274637 or visit the Crime Stoppers website.
GoFundMe, Getty Images
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms declined an invite to attend today's City Council meeting to address Atlanta's violent crime.
Police are searching for a gunman who fired into a crowd outside a crowded Buckhead lounge early Sunday. A woman and two males were wounded during the shooting and transported to local hospitals.
"Recent events throughout the city have generated a steady stream of public discussion regarding the role and effectiveness of leadership in Atlanta," Council President Felicia Moore wrote in a letter obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"It could be helpful to the Council and the public to receive updates relative to the implementation status of any resulting recommendations associated with these initiatives."
Bottoms responded to Moore's letter on New Year's Day, saying her administration will continue to update the City Council on the specific steps being taken to address the city's violent crime.
"I will continue to engage the public and City Council on the important matters of public safety," Bottoms wrote, while politely declining the invitation. "As always, my staff will be available during your City Council conference call meeting."
Bottoms also encouraged Moore and the City Council to conduct their meetings via Zoom, or similar platforms.
Moore's letter comes after 7-year-old Kennedy Maxie died days after she was shot in the head while riding in a car with her aunt and mother near Phipps Plaza in Atlanta's trendy Buckhead neighborhood.
The child's shooting death fueled calls for a private police force to patrol Buckhead. City Council members have pledged to donate money toward the private force.
Kennedy's killer, 24-year-old Daquan Reed, is still at large.
Atlanta police have identified a suspect wanted in the shooting death of 7-year-old Kennedy Maxie near Phipps Plaza.
Atlanta police Lt. Pete Malecki named 24-year-old Dequan Reed as a suspect in Kennedy's murder in a press conference on Tuesday. He is wanted on several charges including felony murder.
"We have identified him and we will continue to work diligently to bring him to justice in the city of Atlanta," Malecki said.
Kennedy died Saturday after she was shot in the head while riding in a car with her mother and aunt near Phipps Plaza in Buckhead.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is under fire for the crime spree that gripped Atlanta during the Covid-19 outbreak this year.
"Our hearts are broken by the senseless murder of Kennedy," Bottoms said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "While the Atlanta Police Department has significant leads in the apprehension of those responsible, it does not erase the pain felt when a beautiful, vibrant and loving child is tragically taken from her family. We urge the public to continue to provide information that will lead to the arrests of the careless and heartless people responsible for Kennedy’s death."
A GofundMe page raised over $60,000. A $15,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.
Photos: Getty Images
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has come under fire for hitting the campaign trail with presidential hopeful Joe Biden, while a violent crime wave sweeps the city.
Lance Bottoms made national headlines when she endorsed Biden for president. She hosted Biden's campaign stop in Atlanta, and since then, she has gone on the road to stump for him.
Screen grab: Instagram.com
A 2019 FBI report shows a spike in the number of violent crimes in Atlanta in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
Critics blame the Mayor's cash bail reform and her order to end police chases in Atlanta for the spike in violent crimes.
Atlantans question why Lance Bottoms is on the campaign trail with Biden, who is seen as a long run for the Democratic nomination.
Political insiders say Lance Bottoms is on the campaign trail with Biden because her name is on the short list to be Biden's running mate.
Sabrina Peterson, Atlanta socialite and owner of Glam Bar Salon, is organizing volunteers to help block the mayor's reelection. Instagram followers expressed their anger at Lance Bottoms' inaction on crime.
@Kelving2016 wrote: "Still stomping for Biden???? You're going to mess around and lose the mayorship following behind him. I have told you constantly but you refuse to acknowledge. I wish you the best."
And @terrilz wrote "Shouldn't you be governing in Atl. Fixing the enormous crime problem?"
Lance Bottoms narrowly defeated Mary Norwood in a runoff election in 2017.
Can you guess who this handsome young fellow grew up to be? Here are a few hints: he once dated an older actress who is respected in her field. He is a vegan who takes very good care of his temple and he's a philosopher who spreads knowledge about nutrition and social justice on social media.
Can you guess who he is?
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