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Governor threatens to 'take action' after 'recent trend of lawlessness' in Atlanta

More than 30 people were shot in the city over the holiday weekend, according to police.

ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp took to social media after a deadly weekend in Atlanta, one that claimed the life of an innocent child. Atlanta police said more than 30 people were shot in the city over the July Fourth weekend.  

The governor took to Twitter on Sunday evening to send his condolences to the family of 8-year-old Secoriea Turner, who was shot to death near the Wendy's where Rayshard Brooks was killed. 

Two hours following that Tweet, after a man was killed not far from that same location, his comments were more stern. 

"This recent trend of lawlessness is outrageous & unacceptable," he said. "Georgians, including those in uniform, need to be protected from crime & violence."

Along with the shootings, a group of people attacked the Georgia Department of Public Safety headquarters. The building, on United Avenue in southeast Atlanta was pelted by rocks, fireworks and spray paint, according to a DPS spokesperson.

Kemp went on to say that the state is ready to assist local leaders, if needed, however, he said they'd also take action without them.

Under Georgia law, the governor has the authority to deploy state law enforcement or National Guard - or both, if needed, his office confirmed.

"While we stand ready to assist local leaders in restoring peace & maintaining order, we won’t hesitate to take action without them," he said.

Credit: WXIA

The first incident over the weekend happened Saturday night when Secoriea Turner was killed when two armed men fired into the car she was riding in off University Avenue near Pryor Road in southeast Atlanta. 

"Our hearts absolutely break for this precious life senselessly taken. Marty, the girls, and I are praying for the Lord’s comfort over Secoriea’s family and loved ones in the face of this tragedy. Please contact @Atlanta_Police immediately if you can help their investigation," Kemp Tweeted.

Credit: WXIA

The Tweet offering his condolences came after Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, interim Atlanta Police Department Chief Rodney Bryant and the family of Turner spoke during a news conference, pleading with the public to help identify the shooters in the case. 

About an hour after the news conference ended, another shooting took place near the Wendy's -- this time at a Chevron gas station. Police say a 53-year-old man is dead and at least two others were injured. 

That's when Kemp took to Twitter again to threaten to take action.

“The reality is this, these aren’t police officers shooting people on the streets of Atlanta,” Mayor Bottoms said. “These are members of the community shooting each other – and in this case, it is the worst possible outcome.”

Bottoms went on to say, "You shot and killed a baby," in her address to the public. 

Up until Sunday night’s shootings, Secoriea was at least the third person to be shot in the area in two weeks.

Just after 4 p.m. on Monday, Gov. Kemp declared a State of Emergency across Georgia. The declaration activates up to 1,000 members of the Georgia National Guard to help keep order.

The guard members will provide support at state buildings, including the Georgia State Capitol, Georgia Department of Public Safety Headquarters, and Governor's Mansion. 

His order also allows state law enforcement personnel to increase patrols on roadways and in communities, especially in the city of Atlanta.

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