Teen killed, another injured in shooting outside Atlanta high school

Atlanta city leaders call on end to youth gun violence after shooting
Published: May. 28, 2023 at 11:11 PM CDT
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ATLANTA (WANF/Gray News) - Atlanta city leaders are calling on parents to be more mindful of their children in the wake of an overnight shooting outside a high school that claimed the life of a 16-year-old girl and injured a 16-year-old boy.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the deadly shooting victim was identified as 16-year-old Breasia Powell, WANF reports.

Officers responded to a report of multiple people shot outside Benjamin E. Mays High School around 2:30 a.m. Sunday. Upon arrival, they located two victims, including Powell. She was rushed to the hospital where she later died. The second victim was a 16-year-old boy who was also rushed to the hospital, where he is in stable condition.

Police did not release the identity of the 16-year-old boy or information on the extent of his injuries.

Atlanta Public Schools said in a statement that the shooting happened “during an unauthorized gathering at the end of the exiting driveway” at the high school. The gathering took place after a graduation party at another location was broken up by police hours earlier.

On Sunday afternoon, Mayor Andre Dickens and other city leaders held a press conference about the shooting outside the high school.

“We are always heartbroken when someone loses their life, especially the day school lets out. We are at my alma mater and my neighborhood,” said Dickens at the press conference. “A rising 11th grader lost her life as a rising junior at Grady Hospital. We’re calling against gun violence in our communities and for our young people to experience a fun summer.”

Dickens said Powell was “full of life” and expected to be working Tuesday in the summer youth employment program, Year of the Youth.

“I spent some time talking to two families and one whose child passed away. Those are phone calls we don’t like to have. My heart goes out to both families. To the young people, we want you to be safe where you spend your time and who you spend your time with quality decisions about life. Parents make sure you stay on top of where your children are,” Dickens said.

He encouraged parents to sign their children up at www.atlyouthengage.com, so they can join the summer youth program.

Lisa Hering, the superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, also spoke at the press conference.

“I stand alongside our mayor about the loss of one of our scholars just days after graduation,” she said. “This impact creates trauma. We made resources available for students.”

Herring said the school district makes free telehealth appointments for students. Anyone interested can call 404-383-6806. She added that crisis members will be on-site at Benjamin E. Mays High School on Tuesday.

“To our parents who have students asking questions, contact our school, and we remain steadfast in doing all we can for our children,” Herring said.

Homicide investigators with Atlanta Police are leading the investigation into the shooting. As of Sunday night, police had not released any information on whether they have made any arrests or who they might be looking for.