A Georgia family is accusing police officers of shooting at five children between the ages of 9 and 16 during a traffic stop on Saturday morning, according to a local news report.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the incident, which took place in Waycross, Ga., at around 8 a.m. According to the bureau, the incident unfolded after a Waycross Police Department officer saw the car carrying the children allegedly make a traffic violation at an intersection. The vehicle drove about .7 miles to another intersection, where the police moved to pull it over.
As the car was stopped, three of the children, ages 9, 12 and 14 jumped out and ran away, according to the bureau. An officer in the police vehicle pursued the three children while an officer in another police car responded to the scene. The second officer then moved to approach the front of the car, which then allegedly drove toward him, according to the bureau. The officer shot at the car several times.
The two children still in the vehicle, ages 15 and 16, left the car in drive and hopped out of the vehicle, which came to a stop a short way up the road. The bureau claims there was an “altercation” between the 15-year-old boy and the officer, who eventually placed him in handcuffs. The boy was treated for minor injuries by emergency responders.
The 9-year-old later told local news reporters from News4Jax that he heard seven shots, and that one bullet “went past [his] face.”
The 15 and 16-year-old were arrested after the incident and are each facing several charges, including aggravated assault on a police officer, for the 16-year-old, and removal or attempt to remove a firearm from an officer, for the 15-year-old, police said, according to News4Jax.
The children’s father, Dominique Goodman Sr., told News4Jax that the children had been driving home from a Walmart to pick him up to travel to a football tournament where two of the kids were playing.
“Our kids almost lose their lives to go to a football game? Man, that’s crazy,” Goodman said.
The local NAACP is calling for the police to release body camera and dash camera footage from the incident, according to attorney Gerald Griggs, the chapter vice president, per News4Jax.
The police department said that both officers were placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation, according to News4Jax.