Georgia governor declares state of emergency, deploys National Guard after girl shot dead

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency and deployed the National Guard on Monday in response to violence in Atlanta, including the shooting death of an 8-year-old girl over the weekend.

Kemp announced that 1,000 Georgia National Guard troops will be deployed to three areas in Atlanta including the Georgia State Capitol, the Georgia Department of Public Safety Headquarters and the Governor’s Mansion.

“Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda. Now innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot and left for dead,” said Kemp. “This lawlessness must be stopped and order restored in our capital city.”

The announcement came as Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms pleaded with the public to end violence in the city after 8-year-old Secoriea Turner was shot and killed over the weekend.

Secoriea was shot Saturday night near a Wendy’s restaurant that’s become a focal point of anti-police brutality protests that followed the death of Rayshard Brooks on June 12.

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“Enough is enough,” Bottoms said during a press conference on Sunday. “Enough is enough.”

Police said in a statement that Secoriea, her mother and an adult friend were in a vehicle that was attempting to enter a parking lot that demonstrators had illegally barricaded. They were confronted by armed people and gunfire erupted, authorities said.

Secoriea later died at a hospital.

Bottoms said at least two people in the group shot at the car and appealed for anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.

“If you know who did this, please turn them in,” she said. “These people are a danger to all of us.”

There have been more than 75 shootings in the last few weeks, including two other fatal ones Saturday night. Bottoms warned the violence may harm the protesters’ movement demanding police reforms and racial equality.

“This random, wild, wild west shot ’em up because you can has got to stop. It has to stop. You can’t blame this on the police officer, you can’t say this is about criminal justice reform — this is about some people carrying some weapons who shot up a car with an 8-year-old baby in the car. For what?” she said. “It’s simple: We got to stop this. We’re doing each other more harm than any police officer on this force.”

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Kemp also urged anyone with information to contact police.

“Our hearts absolutely break for this precious life senselessly taken,” he posted to Facebook.

Police have offered a $10,000 reward.

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