5-Year-Old Among 9 Children Wounded in Georgia Gas Station Shooting

Nine children, including a 5-year-old boy, were shot Friday night at a Georgia gas station in what investigators say was an altercation that spilled out of a nearby party.

The Columbus Police Department said all nine were taken to area hospitals for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Police Chief Freddie Blackmon said four had been discharged by Saturday morning, according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

Police identified the victims as two 13-year-old girls, two 15-year-old boys, and five other boys aged 5, 12, 13, 14, and 17.

Blackmon said at a news conference that police were called to the scene shortly after 10 p.m. and that investigators believe the altercation that led to the shooting began during a party held at a nearby warehouse.

The chief couldn’t say how many shooters were involved or whether all those who were shot had been at the party.

“The rash of gun violence involving our youth is impacting communities across the country,” Blackmon said. “While Columbus is not immune to these incidents, I want to assure citizens that the men and women of CPD are tirelessly working to get violent offenders off our streets. It is going to take a community effort to combat gun violence in our city. The entire village has a responsibility because incidents like this impacts all of us.”

Mayor Skip Henderson was more succinct.

“I just get tired of seeing folks when they have a disagreement, or an argument, or maybe even a fist fight, they think they have to reach for a gun and go to deadly force,” he said.

No arrests have been made, Blackmon said.

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