UPDATE 7:53 a.m. 5/13: more details from CCPD; no suspects yet

Clayton County Police are investigating a shootout just steps from 7 Pillars Career Academy and Paradise Church of God in Christ at Conley Road and Hendrix Drive. Mourners arriving for a funeral at Paradise COGIC were greeted by the sight of a crime scene investigation just across the street. The shooting also was near San Felipe de Jesus Catholic Church.

Forest Park Police and CCPD responded to the incident. Witnesses told The Clayton Crescent they had heard an exchange of rapid gunfire within the complex in the middle of the day Thursday, May 12.

CCPD says officers responded at 10:46 a.m and that ”two males were in the neighborhood shooting at each other. It is still unclear why the males were shooting at each other or the nature of their relationship. We are unsure how many shots were fired, but 18 shell casings were located. There were no injuries in reference to this incident. A tremendous amount of damage to the property was observed.”

An SUV in the parking lot had several windows shot out. Fresh strike marks in the asphalt and folded police business cards used as evidence markers were visible on the scene.

Photo: Robin Kemp/The Clayton Crescent

A man who said he did not want to give his name said he had heard multiple gunshots, then went back inside to hide.

Community activist Dr. Lawanda Folami said she thinks it’s time for the charter school to move to a safer location.

YouTube video

The charter school serves about 100 fifth- through ninth-graders, offering low student-teacher ratios and experiential learning.

We’ve asked 7 Pillars Head of School Christina Guillen for comment and will update with any new information. CCPD says the investigation is ongoing and that they had no suspects as of press time.

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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