Atlanta/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 20, 2024
11 Injured in Savannah Shootout Amid Weekend Gun Violence SurgeSource: Unsplash/ Michael Förtsch

An argument escalating into a violent shootout resulted in 11 individuals being injured near Savannah’s tourist-packed Ellis Square late Saturday night, punctuating a spate of gun violence that shook the city over the weekend. As reported by FOX 5 Atlanta, Police Chief Lenny Gunther stated that the gunfire ensued when "one shot rang out" during an altercation between two women, sparking others to pull out weapons and open fire in the crowded area.

According to a report by Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the injuries included ten people hit by bullets, with the cause of the eleventh injury not being disclosed. The violence preceded an anticipated influx of tourists for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend; an occurrence that pressed local authorities to reassure the public of an adequate police presence. Mayor Van Johnson, addressing the underlying issue, emphasized the need for "smart gun laws" and responsible weapon handling.

Over the entire weekend, Savannah experienced a total of five shootings, two of which resulted in fatalities. The mass shooting in the historic district followed two other incidents on Friday that resulted in non-life-threatening injuries and arrests, as detailed in both sources. A separate incident on Saturday involved a home invasion that left a juvenile dead when a resident reportedly encountered an armed intruder. Later, another shooting at an intersection left one man dead and a juvenile wounded.

Mayor Johnson, echoing concerns about the growing gun problem during a press conference, said, "We have to insist on smart gun laws,” and that gun owners should prevent their firearms from being stolen and should understand the appropriate usage of their guns, as reported by FOX 5 Atlanta. The mass shooting incident raises questions about gun proliferation in a city known for its charming squares and historic landmarks, and as police piece together the events, the community grapples with the shock of violence intruding on its cobblestoned streets.