The governor of Georgia on Monday declared a state of emergency and authorised the activation of up to 1,000 United States National Guard troops after a weekend of violence in Atlanta left five people dead, including an eight-year-old girl.
A statement from Governor Brian Kemp’s office says troops will provide support at certain locations including the state’s Capitol and governor’s mansion, freeing up state law enforcement resources to patrol other areas.
“Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda. Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot, and left for dead,” the Republican governor said. “This lawlessness must be stopped and order restored in our capital city.”
Saturday night’s fatal shooting of Secoriea Turner, age eight, prompted a $10,000 reward for information as authorities searched for at least two people who opened fire on the car in which she was riding near a flashpoint of recent protests.
Officers returned to the scene late Sunday to investigate another shooting, steps away from where Secoriea was shot, that left one person dead at the scene and two others injured.