Neighborhood Leaders Speak Out, Police Increase Patrols After String of Shootings in East Atlanta

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    After two shootings over the weekend, one in which a man was killed and another involving a robbery, residents of East Atlanta are speaking out against crime and police are committing more resources to the neighborhood.

    Police are increasing patrols after the series of violent attacks and neighborhood leaders say the actions will not be tolerated.

    One man was killed and another one wounded after a suspect shot them during a robbery at the intersection of May Avenue and Flat Shoals Avenue just before midnight Saturday.

    As the neighborhood rallies to combat crime following a second shooting death in a week, community leaders paused Monday to express their condolences, to the family of Patrick Cotrona.

    In a video posted to East Atlanta’s Patch.com portal, Kevin Spigener, president of the East Atlanta Community Association; Edward Gilgor, chairman of Neighborhood Planning Unit-W and Natalyn Archibong, Atlanta City Councilwoman for District 5, pledged to find the parties responsible and to take steps to keep the area safe.

    “This is intolerable and East Atlanta is a wonderful place to live and to play and to celebrate the businesses and the retail that we have here,” said Archibong. “I want to assure everyone within the sound of my voice of the commitment and the continuing commitment that I’ve had all these years around public safety.

    Archibong went on to say that she would be working the Atlanta police foundation to bring additional cameras to the area and increase lighting.

    She added that she would be providing additional funding to supplement what the police could not provide to “to make sure that our businesses and our visitors and our neighbors know with no doubt that this is a safe part of town for them to visit.”

    Saturday’s incidents were part of a string of attacks reported after 10 p.m. In each case, the suspect pulled a gun on the victims and stole their money or vehicle. Police are investigation whether the crimes are connected and are asking anyone with information to call authorities.

    “It does make you kind of a little nervous, especially me I walk around here all the time,” Jarred Orr, who works at a local pizza restaurant, told CBS News.

    APD says it plans to increase foot patrols and drive through the area with their blue flashing lights on Monday night.

    Kevin Spigener, president East Atlanta Community Association, said that his group will be working to “send a message” to those who may be thinking of committing similar crimes in the aera.

    “As a community we will not stand for this happening in our community,” he said. “We are a very close-knit family here and we will continue to fight for a crime-free area. And this is a message that goes out to anyone who tries to come into East Atlanta and East Atlanta Village that we’re not going to put up with it. We will find who did this and we wil continue to fight for a crime free area.”

    Police said they planned to increase foot patrols and drive through the area with their blue flashing lights on Monday night.

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