ATLANTA — After a violent weekend that left a dozen victims shot and two people dead, the Atlanta Police Department is encouraging people to make better choices and think before they pick up a gun.
"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," the department said in a statement Monday morning. "No argument is worth destroying lives."
The police department attributes a lot of the recent gun violence to altercations. The most recent killing claimed the life of a 15-year-old girl on Saturday evening. Atlanta Police said the killing was likely the result of fighting that happened earlier that night and escalated to gunfire.
"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, " the police department said. "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."
According to records, a total of 157 people were killed across the city in 2020. Since then, Atlanta Police have investigated 37 more homicides as murders continue to surge by about 60% percent.
The police department said it will continue to work to keep the city of Atlanta safe but said it will work better if the community helps them by stopping the violence.
"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," the department's statement said.
But for those who choose guns anyway, Atlanta Police had a warning.
"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," said the department. "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."
If you have tips on a crime or you can prevent a crime and want to report anonymously, please call Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta at 404-577-8477.