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DeKalb commissioner works to pass ordinance to help curb gun violence after bystander killed in gas station shootout

A DeKalb Commissioner is sponsoring an ordinance that would require convenience stores to have surveillance systems.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The moment Kamylla Yancey got a call at 5 a.m. Friday, she hopped on a flight and rushed to Atlanta. Her mother had called to say that Yancey's younger brother, 28-year-old John Battle, had died. 

Battle had been caught in the crossfire of a shootout Thursday night and did not make it.

"We're very sad. We're very upset," Yancey said. "I'm trying to keep it together for my mother."

Yancey spoke with 11Alive while standing in the parking lot of the Shell gas station along Covington Parkway, where her brother had been hours before to buy juice.

Battle, his girlfriend, and his one-year-old daughter were driving away from the gas station when a group of people were arguing and started shooting at each other. 


Investigators say a bullet struck Battle — who was not involved in the argument — amid the gunfire while he was inside his car, causing him to wreck.  

Battle’s girlfriend and one-year-old daughter were not hurt in the shooting or crash, investigators said.

"He didn't deserve it," his sister added. "He was a very loving man. He just had a kid at 27. He was living his life."

RELATED: 14-year-old arrested, faces murder charge in DeKalb gas station shooting

Authorities said another person was hurt in the shooting; two others were also injured in a crash at the 6400-block of Covington Highway. 

In a Friday afternoon update, police said a 14-year-old had been arrested in connection with the case.

“A little boy killed my baby. A little boy," she said. "Stop playing with these guns. It's not a game."

The shootout itself was a chaotic scene. Surveillance video shows customers ducking for cover and at least four people firing guns.

Shootings like this are prompting DeKalb County Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson to sponsor an ordinance which would require convenience stores to have surveillance systems.

“It requires a minimum of 4 megapixels so that it is clear footage," she said. "You would be required to have active footage 24 hours a day that covers all of your gas pumps as well as your points of entry and exit as a main counter and 75 foot peripheral of the building that is well lit."

RELATED: Victim killed in car during shooting near DeKalb gas station identified

The ordinance would also require places to give law enforcement footage within 72 hours of a crime taking place.

If passed, these guidelines would also extend to other businesses deemed "high risk."

"If we receive three calls of such acts in the course of a month or if there is a murder, rape, an aggravated assault or a variety of different types of crimes, you automatically become high risk and have to abide by all the rules and regulations," she added. "That is a small investment to make when we are dealing with lives that are being lost."

Lives, like Battle's. 

His sister says the family is planning a vigil in his honor. This story will be updated once those details are made available.

Meanwhile, police said though they have made one arrest, they are still searching for the men seen in the surveillance video. If anyone with additional information on the case is asked to call homicide detectives at 770-724-7850 or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS.

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