Following another weekend of homicides in Atlanta, Atlanta Police Department Deputy Chief Charles Hampton pleaded with residents to cease the senseless violence and “put the guns down.”
Over the week, five people were killed in incidents that are being investigated as homicides. On Friday, Aug. 20, a brother and sister were shot and killed off of Sells Ave SW. Police say 35-year-old Lamorris Willie J Godfrey was arrested and charged with murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Then, at nearly 1 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 22, officers responded to 495 Whitehall St. SW, where they found three males who were shot and killed. Police say all three victims died from apparent gunshot wounds. Atlanta Police Homicide investigators responded and are working to determine what led to the incident.
According to Hampton, 90% of Atlanta’s homicides are carried out through handguns. Additionally, 80% of the cities homicides happen between people who know each other and are the results of escalating disputes.
Police say the are seeing more verbal disputes escalate and the weapon of choice being handguns.
“We’re just seeing a lot of senseless acts of violence in our community,” Hampton said during an Aug. 23 press conference. “We are just pleading that people remain calm. We’re asking people to resolve conflicts in a manner where — again — talk or just simply walk away. We’re just really pleading to everyone. If you have information, come forward.”
“Let’s just be decent human beings like I know we can,” Hampton said.
Hampton said the department is doing everything in its power to bring these people to justice and bring closure to the victims and their families.
While Atlanta has seen a rise in crime, Hampton said the uptick is not unique to Atlanta. Cities across the country are seeing a rise in crime. Hampton said APD speaks regularly with other law enforcement agencies to figure out the trends as a way to hopefully get ahead of the crime. It’s frustrating, he said, because it’s that type of violence that didn’t have to happen if people just walked away from disputes.
“We will find you, we will apprehend you,” Hampton said. “For citizens — if you see something, say something. We are calling on everyone to do their part.”
APD asks that anyone with information on this weekend’s homicides to call 911 or Crime Stoppers Atlanta. Information on the case can be submitted anonymously to the Crime Stoppers Atlanta tip line at 404-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.StopCrimeATL.com. Callers do not have to give their name or any identifying information to be eligible for the reward of up to $2,000 for the arrest and indictment of the suspect involved in Sunday’s triple shooting.