A baseball game in Atlanta turned deadly over the weekend when an argument quickly escalated into violence.
At around 7 p.m. local time, police were called to Dunbar Recreational Center inside Rosa L. Burney Park on the southwest side of the city. When police arrived, they found several victims who had been shot, including a 6-year-old child. All six victims were taken to the hospital.
A man in his 30s, whom friends later identified as Rashad Rogers, later succumbed to his injuries.
“I know that he is a father and his kids are going to miss him, so we want to make sure that this doesn’t happen to any other father or child,” said Kimberly Dukes, a friend of Rogers who was not present at the incident.
Reports Sunday night claimed that the other five wounded victims were in stable condition. However, April Sparks, a 33-year-old woman who was also taken to the hospital that night, passed away on Monday.
A 6-year-old girl was taken to the hospital in critical condition. There have been no updates on her condition.
Atlanta Deputy Chief Charles Hampton Jr. spoke to reporters about the shooting incident.
“What we know so far is that there was some type of baseball, softball game ongoing, and some type of argument ensued and next thing you know, there was an exchange of gunfire,” Hampton said.
The Miami Herald has reported that there was another shooting incident later that same evening about a half-mile away from Burney Park. Though police are still investigating, they believe that the two shootings may have been connected.
In the wake of all the bloodshed, police are asking people to resolve their disagreements peacefully and not to resort to violence.
“As we’ve said countless times,” Hampton said, “we’re just asking the citizens just to find a way to resolve conflict without weapons. We’re just asking people to step away, we’re asking people just to let bygones be bygones.
“Any time that we have any tragedy like this – any death is a tragedy – then as we have kids that are also involved … this is not a place for gunplay. So, we’re just asking everyone to leave the guns at home.”
Police are searching for a man they believe may be involved in the baseball park shooting, and they have released photos of the suspect, images which may have been captured at the park. However, no arrests have yet been made.