ATLANTA — Nine children under the age of 18 were shot outside a gas station in Columbus, Georgia, according to police.
This all happened Friday night around 10:11 p.m. Columbus Police said they were called to a Shell Gas Station on Warm Springs Road.
The ages of the victims included:
- One 5-year-old
- One 12-year-old
- Three 13-year-olds
- One 14-year-old
- Two 15-year-olds
- One 17-year-old
All of the victims are boys, except for two of the 13-year-olds, and all have non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.
"The rash of gun violence involving our youth is impacting communities across the country. While Columbus is not immune to these incidents, I want to assure citizens that the men and women of CPD are tirelessly working to get violent offenders off our streets," the city's police chief, Freddie Blackmon said. "It is going to take a community effort to combat gun violence in our city. The entire village has a responsibility because incidents like this impact all of us."
Authorities said in a release that no arrests have been made at this time.
In a press conference Saturday, Blackmon noted that police believe the incident began as an "altercation" at a nearby party that bled over to the gas station.
He also noted the 5-year-old victim was not part of the group but rather a bystander at the gas station with family.
Mayor Skip Henderson also spoke at the conference, calling the incident "horrific and troubling," adding "I just get tired of seeing folks when they have a disagreement or an argument, or even a fist-fight, they think they have to reach for a gun and go to deadly force."