CHICAGO -- A group of American families and communities are in mourning Monday, July 6 following shooting incidents over the Fourth of July weekend that resulted in the deaths of six children -- the youngest just 6 years old.
In Atlanta, 8-year-old Secoriea Turner was hit near the Wendy’s restaurant where a police officer shot and killed Rayshard Brooks last month. The fast-food outlet was later burned, and the area has since become a site for frequent demonstrations against police violence.
Police say Turner was in the car with her mother and another adult when the driver tried to drive through illegally placed barricades to get to a parking lot in the area. Armed individuals blocking the entrance opened fire on the vehicle, striking it multiple times and striking the child, police said. The driver took Secoriea to Atlanta Medical Center but she did not survive.
“She was only 8 years old,” said her mother, Charmaine Turner. “She would have been on Tik Tok dancing on her phone, just got done eating. We understand the frustration of Rayshard Brooks. We didn’t have anything to do with that. We’re innocent. My baby didn’t mean no harm.”
Investigators are now searching for at least two people who opened fire on Turner’s car – and a $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to their arrest.
Related: Atlanta mayor calls for citizens to stop 'shooting each other' after murder of 8-year-old
“You shot and killed a baby,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a news conference Sunday alongside Charmaine Turner. “And there wasn’t just one shooter, there were at least two shooters.”
“You can't blame this on a police officer,” she added. “You can’t say this about criminal justice reform. This is about some people carrying some weapons who shot up a car with an 8-year-old baby in the car for what?”
“Enough is enough,” Bottoms vowed. “If you want people to take us seriously and you don’t want us to lose this movement, we can’t lose each other.”
Davon McNeal was shot and killed Saturday night while watching fireworks in Southeast DC (Courtesy of John Ayala)
In Washington, D.C., an 11-year-old boy was killed by a stray bullet Saturday night while grabbing a phone charger on the way to a community cookout, according to his grandfather.
John Ayala told WUSA-TV that Davon McNeal was getting out of a car to go get the charger when shots rang out.
Related: California girls, 11 and 12, fatally shot at birthday pool party
Washington D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham told reporters late Saturday that about five adult men shot up the area, striking McNeal, who later died at a hospital. The cause of the shooting is not immediately clear, but D.C. police are asking for the public’s help in gathering information, including any sightings of a black car they say fled a nearby alley.
Ayala said his sixth-grade grandson loved playing sports, especially football. But he also was by his mother’s side while she has taken donations, hosted events, and set up cookouts to create awareness against street violence.
“Eleven-year-old son is right on the side seeing that stuff, getting that role model, you know, and that was what we need in the Black community,” Ayala told the station.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is offering a $25,000 reward in that case for information leading to an arrest.
The weekend shootings targeting children also resulted in the death of a 6-year-old boy in San Francisco.
Officers responding to reports of gunfire found the child suffering from a gunshot wound late Saturday in the Bayview neighborhood, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The child later died at a hospital, while no suspects have been identified by police.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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