DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) --An 11-year-old boy is clinging to life after he was shot at a DeKalb County skating rink on Saturday, April 9.
There is no word as to who is responsible for the shooting. A $10,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.
Video of fighting and shooting that happened at Golden Glide Skating Rink on that Saturday night has circulated on social media. What can not be seen in the video shared with CW69 is the moment a bullet from one of the many gunshots hit D'Mari Johnson.
"We are so hurt right now that this is happening to D'Mari Johnson. He is fighting for his life, and he is a strong kid," said his aunt, Brittani Johnson, who spoke on behalf of the family at a press conference on Monday, April 18.
"The person that should be here, or should be in school today, is D'Mari Johnson, and he's not here because he was tragically shot in the back of the head," said Shean Williams, an attorney representing the family.
Family members came to support D'Mari's parents, Dionte Thomas and Courtney Johnson, and they urged the public to come forward with information on who was responsible for the shooting.
"He was a fun kid, an A and B honor roll student. He loved basketball, and he also loved football," Brittani Johnson said. "We are confused. We want answers."
The family is demanding the DeKalb County Police Department give them a daily update on the investigation, and they're also demanding officials close the skating rink until they can ensure it's safe for kids.
"Golden Glide has a history of violence at that place, a history of fighting and shooting. This shooting wouldn't have occurred if you had adequate security and security measures at that property," Williams said. "We're asking DeKalb County leaders to step up. How many more incidents need to happen at Golden Glide before our own leaders in the community say, 'You know what? Let's step in and make sure that this place is safe before it's opened up to other families and their children."
Williams also discussed the support the family has received in the days since the incident occurred.
"We want to thank everyone in the community for their prayers and their thoughts. We also want to specifically thank Dr. Rashad Richey for putting up a $10,000 reward," he said.
They're hoping the reward will lead to answers. Officials with the rink's management did not immediately respond to CW69's request for comment.
The DeKalb County Police Department issued the following statement:
The investigation into this incident is being diligently worked by our Homicide Assault Unit and we have made great strides since the incident occurred. As with all cases, we must ensure that the investigation be conducted carefully and with integrity. We are unable to discuss the circumstances or possible motive for the incident. We do not have any surveillance or other video that we can share. We have leads in this case that we are continuing to investigate. We greatly appreciate the numerous tips we have received surrounding this case and continue to encourage citizens who believe they may have information to contact the Homicide Assault Unit at 770-724-7850 or contact Crime Stoppers.
Williams said anyone hesitant to contact police can contact his office at The Cochran Firm at 404-222-9922.
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