Breaking News
More () »

7-year-old killed at family gathering in Atlanta | Suspects identified

APD said she was shot in the head and died. The Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office identified the child as Ava Phillips.

ATLANTA — A family gathering in Atlanta turned violent Saturday night, with a 7-year-old girl dying from her injuries, authorities said.  Atlanta Police are still investigating the tragic shooting.

Here is what we know right now.

Details of the fatal shooting

Atlanta Police said they were called to 180 Jackson Street -- which is the Camden Vantage Apartments  -- around 10:20 p.m. on August 27 to respond to a shooting where a child had been injured. 

The victim, who the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office identified as Ava Phillips, died at the scene. APD said she was shot in the head.

Credit: Courtesy of family
Ava Phillips

The Suspects

Homicide Detectives identified the suspects in Ava's death and obtained arrest warrants for 23-year-old Deshon Collins and a 44-year-old Kemeka Springfield.  

On Monday, police said Springfield is in custody, charged with aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Collins is still at large and has arrest warrants for murder, cruelty towards children, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.   

It is unclear the relationship between Ava and the two suspects. 

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office
Kemeka Springfield

The tragic scene

People who live at the complex said they heard chaos as it unfolded. 

Tia Wilson, who said she lives in the building where it happened, said she was coming home when she heard loud noises. 

"We were approaching my door, you just heard chaos. You heard like screaming. It was it was like multiple people screaming, you had dogs barking," Wilson said. 

She went inside her apartment with her mom, but couldn't imagine what had taken place. She said the noises didn't sound like  laughter.

"It was like, like a literal trauma scream," Wilson added. 

RELATED: 7-year-old girl shot, killed at family gathering in Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward, police say

The investigation 

The preliminary investigation indicated, according to APD, that the shooting stemmed from a domestic incident that escalated to gunfire. Deputy Chief Charles Hampton Jr. said the victim was hit when the gunfire broke out.

Homicide Investigators responded to begin their investigation.

"We asking everyone that was here, we know that there was a kind of a family gathering, we know that a couple of individuals left the scene after the shooting. We are asking anyone who was here to call CrimeStoppers or the Homicide Unit," he said. 

In a notice to residents on Monday, the apartment complex said they captured the gunfire exchange on video; they said the video was given to the police to aid in their investigation. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out