News April 25, 2022 at 12:30 pm

11-year-old battling for his life after being shot at skating rink, 13-year-old suspect arrested

Francis Akhalbey | Content Manager

Francis Akhalbey April 25, 2022 at 12:30 pm

April 25, 2022 at 12:30 pm | News

D’Mari Johnson, 11, was allegedly shot by a 13-year-old boy -- Photo via GoFundMe

Authorities in Georgia have arrested a 13-year-old boy suspected of shooting an 11-year-old at the back of the head. According to WSB-TV, the April 10 incident occurred outside the Golden Glide skating rink in Decatur. And the victim, identified as D’Mari Johnson, is in critical condition.

Last week, lawyers for Johnson’s family announced they were offering $10,000 for tips that would lead to the arrest of the suspect. DeKalb police also announced the suspect linked to the shooting had been identified, and they believed he was a juvenile. The unidentified 13-year-old suspect was arrested last Thursday. Police are, however, yet to establish the motive behind the shooting.

“I don’t want to lay blame and I don’t want to speak for the parents. We don’t know the circumstances where they were or why the children were there. We do just ask that the community work together, work with your children to keep DeKalb County safe,” DeKalb Police Chief Mirtha Ramos said.

In a news conference last Monday, lawyers for Johnson’s family blamed both the shooter and the skating rink for the incident. They argued that the Golden Glide skating rink has a history of violence and the shooting could have been prevented if there was proper security.

“Their child was shot at a place that has a history of issues and violence,” Williams said. “Golden Glide has a history of violence at that place, a history of violence and shooting. We believe the shooting wouldn’t have occurred if the place had adequate security.”

DeKalb Police Chief Mirtha Ramos on Thursday commended the community for providing information on the shooting. “The community really showed up with tips and information that helped us close this case,” said Ramos. “While we have the suspect in custody, I am saddened that the lives of both of these children and their families will never be the same.”

In a statement, Johnson’s family also said they were “thankful” the suspect linked to the shooting had been identified and apprehended, WSB-TV reported.

“We are saddened that a 13-year-old could allegedly perpetrate such a heinous act. The family would like to thank the community for their support and asks for continued prayers for D’Mari’s recovery,” the victim’s family said.

“The Cochran Firm is actively conducting its own investigation into this tragic incident. We look forward to the results of the investigation into Golden Glide by various agencies within DeKalb County. We must remain vigilant in protecting the children in our community.”

Johnson’s family has set up a GoFundMe to help raise funds to cover his medical expenses.

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