The parents of an 8-year-old girl killed earlier this month after gunfire erupted in Atlanta made an appeal to the public for help finding the person or persons who killed their daughter. Secoriea Turner died July 4 after being hit when multiple gunmen shot at her mother’s car that the little girl was riding inside.
Lawyers representing Turner’s family held a press conference on Monday and announced that a reward had been increased to $50,000 in hopes that someone will come forward with information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. Turner’s parents said the rules of the streets change when an innocent child is killed and insisted they would turn themselves in if they were the roles were reversed.
“It’s crazy that nobody don’t wanna come forward,” Secoriya Williamson said, stressing that he believes someone knows something. He said no one would be called a “snitch” because his daughter was not in the streets. Instead, he said, people who share with lawyers or police any information they may have about the shooting will be “labeled as a hero because you’re doing what’s right.
“What if it was your relative?” he asked. “Somebody seen something. Just come forward.”
Turner’s mother spoke briefly and made her own emotional plea.
“My baby is supposed to be here,” Charmaine Turner said while weeping. “Please help me. Please. Please help, somebody knows something. You don’t gotta call no lawyers, call me. I just wanna know why, why.”
The attorneys representing Turner’s family also used the press conference to announce that there was a second person of interest in the case. However, the person of interest’s lawyer said on Monday that his client was not involved in the shooting, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Mawuli Davis, the lead attorney for Turner’s family, said during the press conference that the initial person of interest had been “vetted” by police and ultimately released once it was determined he was not involved in the shooting, either.
Lawyers said they have arranged it so that anyone who turns him or herself in will be represented free of charge by top local defense attorneys. In the meantime, organizers expected to assemble on Tuesday a group of volunteers to begin going “door-to-door” to “help us find the killer of this baby.” Law students will also be manning phones and screening calls before referring them to pro bono criminal defense attorneys “volunteering their time because of the significance of this moment,” Davis said. “An 8-year-old’s life has to matter,” he added.
The reason why Secoriea Turner’s mother was shot at was under investigation, too. When her car was shot, Charmaine Turner was attempting to avoid what the police described as a “makeshift roadblock that was manned by numerous armed individuals.” It was near the fast-food restaurant where Atlanta police shot and killed Rayshard Brooks last month where protests have ensued ever since. However, the Journal-Constitution reported that the protesters “were not affiliated with, and did not know, the people blocking the road.”
Davis said the roadblock was “concerning and alarming,” suggesting such activity would not be tolerated in white neighborhoods. “We are certain that in other peers of the city that6 would not be allowed to be maintained,” he said.
A public viewing was also scheduled Tuesday in Atlanta followed by Secoriea Turner’s funeral on Wednesday.
Davis stressed how important it would be to have the closure of a legitimate arrest in the case before Secoriea Turner’s parents have to bury their young daughter.
“Can we do what we can as a community so that they can grieve?” Davis asked. “They need to be able to focus on burying their child and grieving.”