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Fulton probes gang ties in deaths of children

The district attorney said two gangs have been identified in the separate shootings of 7 and 8-year old-girls.

ATLANTA — Fulton County’s top prosecutor said suspected gang activity led to the separate shooting deaths of two little girls in Atlanta in 2020.  

Atlanta Police said 8-year-old Secoriea Turner and 7-year-old Kennedy Maxie died from gunfire while sitting inside automobiles.

Though police have arrested the alleged triggermen in both cases, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said she thinks there are also gang members out there who are culpable in the killings of the two little girls. 

Two gangs have been identified, though Willis declined to elaborate.Willis said the cases of Secoriea Turner and Kenney Maxie have gnawed at the consciences of prosecutors for months.  

"We are all traumatized and horrified that this happened in our community," Willis said Wednesday.

Turner was seated inside a vehicle off University Avenue when a bullet ripped into the car and fatally struck her in July 2020.  The location was near the Wendy’s restaurant where an Atlanta police officer shot and killed Rayshard Brooks three weeks earlier – fueling months of protests.

Willis said a gang-related siege took place in the neighborhood in the weeks following the protests. Men with guns set up unauthorized checkpoints near the site of the restaurant, which a suspected arsonist torched hours after the killing of Brooks.

The gang probe "certainly could rope in additional (suspects)," Willis said in an interview with 11Alive News. "But I think it’s very important to always know all aspects of a case when you’re presenting it to a jury. They deserve to know the entire story."

Willis sent letters to Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vic Reynolds, requesting the assistance of the state gang investigation unit formed two years ago. A GBI spokeswoman said the GBI would cooperate with the request.

Credit: Provided
Kennedy Maxie

Willis said that probe could lead to the arrests of people who contributed to the violence that led to gunshots that struck Maxie near Phipps Plaza in December, as well as Secoriea Turner nearly six months earlier.

"Sometimes gang evidence can show you who else is culpable in the crime. So it helps with the evidence and painting the entire picture," Willis said.

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