In office for less than a month and already Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens is visiting families affected by gun violence in the city. Dickens was at the scene last evening where a 6-month old baby was caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting.
Mayor Dickens tells Audacy Atlanta's Big Tigger Morning Show "I can't understand why people are choosing guns to settle their disputes and these guys are shooting while driving down the street and they kill a baby." A defiant Dickens adds "They killed a baby and they're going to pay for it. Everybody in the car, everybody involved, they're going to pay for it."
According to the baby's mother their vehicle was caught in the middle of two cars firing shots. A bullet went through the trunk striking the infant who was in the back seat. It happened late Monday afternoon on Anderson Avenue in the Dixie Hills community of northwest Atlanta.
A dozen murders already this year in Atlanta
It's day number 22 in office for Dickens who was sworn in as mayor on January 3, 2022. "It's sad, its hurting, and it's killing me," says Dickens. He points out that there have already been 12 murders in Atlanta this year, with one weapon being a knife in a domestic situation. All of the other weapons, according to Dickens, were guns.
Guns are the source of the problem
"Adults who haven't figured out how to de-escalate situations, how to resolve conflict," says Mayor Dickens, "are making our children bear the brunt of their bad decisions with their lives." Three shootings in the city this year, according to Dickens, "happened to people 5 years (old) and under."
Depression and isolation also contribute to the problem
Atlanta's 61st Mayor believes the pandemic plays a role in the ongoing violence. "This depression and isolation has lead people to make irrational decisions and I want it to stop." Dickens is calling on the community, specifically clergy, non-profits, parents, and schools to start a conversation about peace and conflict-resolution and "to put the guns down because we are killing each other."
Anyone with information about the shootings are asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS(8477).