I thank the Atlanta Police Department for their response today. I’d also like to thank all our law enforcement partners from across this region you see standing behind me and with me—the Police Chief of Cobb County, as well as the Fulton County Sheriff, APD’s Chief, as well as our Fire Rescue Chief Smith.
I want to also thank our local college police offices, also our Atlanta Public Schools police office, as well as neighboring jurisdictions, the State of Georgia and the Federal government for their support today.
We also had strong coordination with our Fire Rescue and emergency medical personnel.
And last but not least, we must thank our E-911 operators who spent the day fielding calls as we tracked this suspect.
I am pleased to share with you that thanks to our strong partnership with Cobb County Police Department, law enforcement have taken the suspect into custody.
Thanks to the highly trained police officers across our region, we were able to bring this suspect into custody without further harm. He will be charged and stand trial for his crimes.
Not only did law enforcement bring this man into custody, they also kept our community safe during an enormously tense afternoon and evening.
I want to thank our citizens for keeping calm, staying in place and for providing critical information to law enforcement throughout the day.
I’m going to turn over to law enforcement to share an update, and I’ll return to share a few additional remarks.
Again, I want to thank all our law enforcement agencies for their cooperation and professional police work today.
As you can see, this is a group project.
This took multiple jurisdictions working together. Highly trained officers who not only found this suspect, but brought him into custody to stand trial.
So thanks to the professional and trained law enforcement in our region, this is an instance where justice is the case of the day.
But that doesn’t change the fact that one woman died, and there are four more in the hospital just a few blocks away from here fighting for their lives.
I want to thank Grady Hospital. The care that they’ve given immediately to those four individuals—those four women are now on the mend. That’s because of the outstanding work of by our trauma center and those medical professionals at Grady.
So we need to talk about the shooting that happened today.
This was a horrible act of gun violence.
But equally horrifying is that we know this is not unique in our country.
In 2023 alone, there have been nearly 200 reported instances of mass shootings in America.
We have taken extraordinary measures in Atlanta to bring down violent crime in this city. We’ve enhanced our policing. We’ve invested in non-policing activities that make our city safer. We’ve invested in the root causes of crime at the same time as we’re cracking down on repeat offenders who commit violence in our community.
Those measures have produced great results. Before today, we were down 26% in violent crime across the city. And those are not just stats. Those are real people, real people who are not going to be victims of violence.
But we know there is more that needs to be done.
What more can we do as a city? What more can we do as a community? As a state? As a nation?
We have a national epidemic of gun violence in America.
And we have a serious problem with how we are treating mental health in this nation.
One thing we know is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Other nations have challenges with mental health, but they don’t have nearly this level of gun violence that we do in America.
It’s the guns that we’re talking about.
We live in a state and in a nation where people have easy and wide access to firearms that are used to kill other fellow Americans.
We need immediate action that meets the urgency of this crisis.
We need universal background checks and we need to close the gun purchase loopholes. We need better red flag laws that allow judges to remove guns from people who pose risks.
We need to do everything we can to ensure that folks who shouldn’t have guns can’t get them.
There’s a lot of talk about Second Amendment rights. We need more actions about the rights of our citizens to go about their lives—to go to a doctor’s office, to a supermarket, to a gas station, or to their school—without the threat of being gunned down.
We all need to do our part to stop these horrific acts from happening again and again.
You will be hearing more from me on this.
But today, we are grateful for the women and men who brought this to a close—the team of people who back up the team of people that you see standing here.
And our prayers are with the victims and with the families tonight.