15-year-old in critical condition after being shot by officer near Six Flags Over Georgia, GBI says

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) – A 15-year-old is in critical condition after being shot by a Cobb County police officer during an exchange of gunfire with suspects near Six Flags Over Georgia Saturday evening, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) said Sunday.

The Cobb County Police Department (CCPD) said the shooting happened around 6:15 p.m. Saturday, the amusement park’s opening day of the season, after hundreds of guests caused chaos inside the park.

According to the department on Saturday, Cobb County police were assisting park security with a “sizeable unruly crowd” of around 500 to 600 people who were “running through the park and fighting.” Officers reportedly followed the crowd onto Six Flags Parkway near South Service Road when “an unknown number of suspects” fired at the officers.

Cobb police said one suspect was hit when officers returned fire. The injured person, identified by the GBI on Sunday as a 15-year-old boy, was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital.

Cobb police notified the GBI, which has taken over the investigation into the shooting.

According to the GBI on Sunday, CCPD officers responded to help with crowd control near the park entrance after several fights broke out among guests as they were leaving.

At some point, multiple people reportedly began shooting, hitting an unoccupied CCPD patrol car.

According to the GBI: “As officers identified where the shots were coming from, they ran after people who had run into the woods. During the incident, one CCPD officer fired his weapon, hitting one minor.”

The agency said police recovered a handgun near the 15-year-old.

The teen is listed in critical condition at Grady, according to the GBI. Authorities have not released his name.

The GBI said no officers were injured.

Once the GBI completes its investigation, the case file will be given to the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office for review, the agency said.

On Sunday morning, Atlanta News First spoke to a woman who was working in the park at the time. She wishes to remain anonymous.

“I actually saw something. I really did see people running around, but I didn’t know what it was because, you know, I’m thinking it’s a fun place and people are just running to get somewhere, and that’s basically what I thought,” the woman said. “Young people, is what I saw.”

The woman said she has been working at the park for six months and wants changes.

“I just pray for the youth because I did have some young people try to attack me one day out here,” the woman claims.

“I believe they should not be left unattended or unsupervised by their parents. I believe that, you know, this is a fun park and there’s other people here that pay money to be here, and they would like to be just as safe as anyone else,” the worker said. “I don’t believe that they should let people come here and just destroy the place or, you know, humiliate other people and things of that nature. I think they should be very tight on their security. Maybe they need more real officers here so they could sort of kind of pump some kind of fear into those types of people.”

Six Flags said in a statement that the gunshots were fired off park property, in the area of nearby South Service Road.

Six Flags’ full statement to Atlanta News First in response to the incident follows below:

“Our goal is to provide safe, fun entertainment. We employ state of the art security systems and metal detection, maintain a robust and vigilant Public Safety Department, and have strong support from Cobb County Police who are present both inside and outside the park. Every guest is expected to follow our strict code of conduct and anyone unwilling to follow that code of conduct is unwelcome.

It is incredibly disappointing that our community is disrupted at public events throughout the region by groups of underaged youth. Just like other venues in the area, we are committed to keeping this type of trouble outside our park and off our property. There was police activity involving gunshots; we want to confirm there was no shooting at our property or parking lot. This took place on South Service Road that is not owned or operated by Six Flags. However, we join our community and the Atlanta region in our commitment to safety and security. We won’t put up with that type of activity here.”

The shooting comes nearly a year after a large fight involving what officials described as “several groups of young people” at Six Flags Over Georgia led to the groups being removed from the park.

This is a developing story. Check back with Atlanta News First for updates.

First appeared on www.atlantanewsfirst.com

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