CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Police have identified a suspect who allegedly fired shots inside a Clayton County Walmart. Police later arrested the 18-year-old suspect, Matthew Thomas Jr., who will remain in jail after being denied bail.
It was just the latest instance of public violence in the metro area, and people took notice.
A local group mobilizes to end the violence.
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“I just lost a friend to gun violence for the slightest thing,” Tyreeque Carr said.
Tyreeque Carr unfortunately knows the impact of gun violence. He said his friend was a subway worker on Northside Drive in Atlanta.
Police say a customer shot and killed his friend for putting too much mayonnaise on his sandwich. Carr commented that
“you never know” what are the motives of violence for people these days.
Bruce Griggs, founder of the Saving Our Sons campaign, asked a group of local teenagers: “Does anyone know anyone who has guns?
That’s a tough question for teens, but Griggs said, sadly, that’s their reality.
“We’re not going to change their behaviors overnight, but we can at least show them that we care,” Griggs said.
Griggs said the key was getting their attention: “We have to compete with gangbangers and hustlers.”
That’s why the campaign features music and sports. Griggs said this A Call to Manhood-Boys to Men talk will be fun, but there’s a deeper meaning: “We’ll be bringing in young men ages 8-14, and they’ll have sensitive interviews with men HIV-positive adults in the community to address this gun violence.
On Thursday, Channel 2 reported on a shooting at a Riverdale Walmart, just down the street from the conference. Police say two men were arguing near the meat counter inside Walmart when one shot the other.
Griggs said the violence in metro Atlanta was beyond frightening.
“It’s gotten to the point where it’s out of control,” Griggs said. “My wife is afraid to go to the store.”
Channel 2 reporter Larry Spruill asked Griggs, “How can you stop the crime that’s going on in the city, in metro Atlanta?
Griggs replied, “I don’t really think we’ll be able to stop what’s really going on right now. We can put a dent, though. This violence has gotten out of control, but it is not so out of control that we cannot save these children.
Meanwhile, Carr said he thinks this program “most definitely will work.”
Griggs said the event was planned months before, but the shooting and conversation about violence is timely.
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