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Atlanta NAACP Investigates Officer-Involved Block Party Shooting

ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) -- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into its 56th officer-involved shooting of the year in Atlanta. According to the GBI, Gabriel "Sam" Parker, 38, died from multiple gunshot wounds early Sunday morning. Now, the Atlanta NAACP is getting involved.

Cell phone video taken by people who attended the captured the aftermath of the shooting that happened at a Bowen Homes housing project reunion on James Jackson Parkway over the weekend. Authorities pronounced Parker dead at the scene, and another person was injured. "The concerning issue is that shots were fired into the crowd," said Gerald Griggs, the first Vice President of the Atlanta NAACP.

Witnesses say Parker was trying to break up a fight. Atlanta police say officers patrolling the area heard an exchange of gunfire, and one of them, in turn, fired a gun. Police say they haven't yet determined who fired the fatal shots. "The GBI will actually conduct an investigation and determine that based on the evidence," said APD Deputy Chief Timothy Peek, who spoke at the scene following the shooting and said up to 1,000 people had attended the event.  "My hope is they will be able to determine that very quickly. There were numerous witnesses out there," Griggs said. Many of those witnesses and community members blame the officer. The GBI has not yet released any new information.

Witnesses also say officers had high-powered guns, many of which were captured in video. "My question is, 'Why were the high-powered rifles there, when most people are saying there was a handgun that was fired in the air,'" Griggs said. "We're asking Atlanta police to release the body cam to the family and then ultimately to the public."

The community held a vigil Sunday evening with Parker's wife and daughter. Parker's stepfather, Idus Parks, addressed the crowd. "This is this young man's daughter. This is what she has to come to," he said. "I met with them yesterday just to let them know that the NAACP is actively investigating," said Griggs. "There seems to be an issue here in law enforcement with these police-involved shootings."

He referenced other Atlanta police-involved incidents, including the cases of Rayshard Brooks and Jamarion Robinson, and he hopes closure in all the cases will come sooner rather than later.

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