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'We have filed for divorce and that is final': Violence pushing Buckhead group closer to cityhood

Calls are coming from all over the city for something to be done to curb the violence.

ATLANTA — Another weekend of bloodshed among Atlanta neighborhoods has left at least 19 shot and six dead.

The grim numbers are unfortunately starting to become more common for the city of Atlanta. Local leaders and police are fed up. 

The community is fed up too, with some now taking drastic action for change. Calls are coming from all over the city for something to be done to curb the violence.

“Crime in our city is continuing to escalate and decisive steps need to be taken. I have previously requested APD to share with Council data analyzed from all homicides and gun violence from 2020 to present that will identify potential trends," Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore shared in a statement. "In identifying these trends, we can deploy targeted critical resources and begin working with neighborhoods across the city, the council, and the administration to take action in a collaborative manner.”

But some communities are no longer willing to wait. 

Bill White, chairman and CEO of the Buckhead City Committee, says his group has filed two bills – one with the state assembly, the other the state senate - to become its own city.

“We have filed for divorce and that is final.”

Over the three years, he's lived in Buckhead, he's seen crime rapidly go up. He says Buckhead becoming its own city will also help the city of Atlanta.

"A dead and dying Buckhead is the end of Atlanta and we are taking control of our own destiny with this movement," said White.

Three of the people shot over the weekend were in Buckhead – all of them innocent bystanders. They were shot after a pool party at the Peninsula at Buckhead Apartments Saturday night. 

Atlanta police say a fight in the lobby led to gunshots outside, one of the people shot was a 71-year-old man. He was treated on the scene for his injuries, the other two were taken to the hospital. 

In a statement the Peninsula at Buckhead said:

“The safety and wellbeing of our residents is and always will be our number one priority. We take very seriously the incident that occurred this past weekend and we are actively working with authorities in the open investigation. To be clear, the rooftop event was not organized or sanctioned by our property management team and, furthermore, there is no indication that any part of the incident took place at our rooftop pool facility.”

"We’re at war here in Atlanta and it’s obvious to the average citizen that this is a huge crisis that we have to get control of right away," said White.

Two decades ago, Buckhead faced a similar concern. In the early 2000s, an outcry from Buckhead neighbors led the city to crack down on the club scene, forcing earlier closing times. Many clubs ended up closing for good – making way for the luxury shopping area, Buckhead Village District.