Atlanta Police have arrested and charged a man with the fatal shooting of 8-year-old Secoriea Turner.
After warrants were issued for 19-year-old Julian Conley on charges of aggravated assault and felony murder, he turned himself in at Fulton County Jail on Wednesday afternoon.
Secoriea was in the car with her parents on University Avenue Saturday night. A group of armed protesters stopped the vehicle near Pryor Road; an altercation broke out. Shortly afterward, someone opened fire, and Secoriea was shot multiple times.
Conley’s attorney, Jackie Patterson, denies that his client is responsible for firing the weapon. Instead, he insists Conley was protesting peacefully and witnessed the shooting. He says Conley was armed.
“It is no doubt this comes as a shock,” he said. “Why would you want to charge a man who saw a crime but did not participate in a criminal act? Police would have a better chance at winning the lottery than getting a conviction on my client.”
Conley was charged on the same day that Secoriea was laid to rest at the New Calvary Missionary Baptist Church.
“They killed my baby because they crossed a barrier and made a u-turn. You killed a child. She didn’t do nothing to nobody,” Secoriea’s father, Secoriya Williamson, said at a recent news conference. “If you know something, say something,” Williamson said. “Do what’s right. You will not be labeled as a snitch. You’ll be labeled as a hero.”
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom is calling for an end to violence in the Georgia capital.
“We are shooting each other up on our streets in this city. And you shot and killed a baby,” Bottoms said during a press conference on Sunday. “And there wasn’t one shooter, there were at least two shooters. An 8-year-old baby. We are doing each other more harm than any police officer on this force.”