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'We are so hurt right now' | Family of 11-year-old shot at Decatur skating rink calls for shut down

"We are so hurt right now. He is fighting for his life and he is a strong kid," the 11-year-old's aunt said.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The family of an 11-year-old boy who is fighting for his life at a local hospital after being shot at a DeKalb County skating rink is calling for officials to temporarily shut it down.

D'Mari Johnson's mother, father, and aunt gathered alongside their attorney, partner Shean Williams with the Cochran Firm Atlanta, in a Monday morning press conference.

D'Mari was shot in the back of the head on April 9 outside of Golden Glide Skating Rink. Since the shooting, Williams said he's been in a medically induced coma, "literally fighting for his life every day."

While Williams said the family's number one priority is "finding out and bringing to justice" those responsible for shooting D'Mari, they're also calling on officials to provide daily updates on the investigation and to take more action.

Williams claimed the 11-year-old was shot at a "place that has a history of issues and violence."

"The circumstances that led to his shooting, we believe, are at the sole responsibility of, not only the shooter, but Golden Glide," he said.

He then called on CEO of DeKalb County Michael Thurmond, District Attorney Sherry Boston and the DeKalb County Police Department to investigate Golden Glide and take measures to shut it down until the establishment can guarantee safety. 

"We believe the evidence would suggest and strongly show that Golden Glide is a nuisance of danger for out kids and our families," Williams said.

D'Mari's aunt spoke next, pleading with the community to come forward with information so they can find a suspect and finally "have answers."

"We are so hurt right now," she said.

Described by his aunt as a "fun kid" who was an A/B honor roll student and loved sports, D'Mari now remains at the hospital days after the incident. 

At the press conference, Williams also said the shooting didn't happen around 1 a.m. as previous reports from police indicate. He and the family claimed the incident happened just before 11 p.m. as the skating rink was closing.

Williams did not indicate whether the family is expecting to take any legal action against the rink for now, saying "the only thing I’m anticipating is for D'Mari to come home."

Anyone with any information is urged to call DeKalb County Police at 77-724-7850.


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