The Atlanta Police Department has released a statement after another “senseless” weekend of gun violence left two dead, including a 15-year-old girl.

The teenager, identified as Diamond Johnson, was shot and killed on May 1 outside the Waffle House on Glenwood Avenue in Glenwood Park. According to APD, the incident began with a group of juveniles fighting in the 800 block of Glenwood Avenue SE, which is also across the street from Maynard Jackson High School. After the fight, more people arrived on the scene, including adults, and the confrontation continued and led to gunfire. Two other teens were wounded in the incident.

A 22-year-old man was shot and killed after an argument at the Artisan Bar and Gallery on Peachtree Street in the early morning hours of May 2. A 20-year-old man with a gunshot wound was also transported to the hospital, according to APD.

Here’s the full statement from APD on the weekend shootings:

This past weekend, six incidents of gun violence left multiple people injured including a 15-year-old female who sadly lost her life. When these violent crimes occur, people look to law enforcement for answers. What many do not consider is that when people decide to resort to gun violence to resolve personal issues, this is not just a policing issue. These incidents involve people making poor decisions when resolving conflict. Police respond after getting the call that someone has been shot. We pick up the pieces and the investigation after the fact. People make anger-induced decisions about conflict resolution options well before we arrive on the scene.

Violent crimes begin in a myriad of ways, with everything from domestic disputes, to arguments with acquaintances, gang interactions, and drug deals gone bad. These incidents involve people making choices in the spur of the moment. It is impossible to police every citizen’s negative encounter in real-time. We realize no matter the reason, the impact on our city is the same. These senseless acts undermine the feeling of safety our officers work so hard to provide our communities. The Atlanta Police Department spends countless hours patrolling the streets, responding to 911 calls for service, investigating homicides, and tracking down suspects who prey on innocent victims. It is our life’s work. Your safety and the safety of the City of Atlanta are our number one priority. It is why we chose this profession. But we cannot be in everyone’s living room. We need individuals to make better choices when angry and when resolving conflict.

We continue to be shocked at the number of people who are willing to take a life, abandon their family, risk going to prison, and put people in harm’s way by using guns to solve disagreements. It is always a matter of choice. We encourage people to agree to disagree and to walking away from escalating arguments. No argument is worth destroying lives. We encourage people to think before they reach for a gun.

For those who chose crime and gun violence, we need you to know that we will find you. We have a superior Homicide Unit and teams of investigators who have an impressive success rate at finding suspects and bringing them to justice. If you resort to violence in this city, you can expect to be arrested and held accountable. We take the job of public safety seriously. Each day we send our men and women out into the streets to make a difference and keep our communities safe, but it can work so much better if you work with us to stop the violence. If you see something, say something by calling 911. If you have tips on a crime or you can prevent a crime and want to report anonymously, please call Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta @ 404-577-8477. Together we can make and keep our City safe. 

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.