DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — A family is desperately looking for answers after someone shot an 11-year-old boy at a skating rink in DeKalb County. He’s now clinging to life, with no word on who is responsible for the shooting. The family is now offering a reward for information.
Video of fighting and shooting that happened at Golden Glide Skating Rink on April 9, 2022 has circulated around social media. What is not seen in the video shared with CW69 is the moment a bullet from one of the many gunshots hit D’Mari Johnson, 11.
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“We are so hurt right now that this is happening to D’Mari Johnson. He is fighting for his life, and he is a strong kid,” said his aunt, Brittani Johnson, who spoke on behalf of the family at a press conference on April 18, 2022.
“The person that should be here, or should be in school today, is D’Mari Johnson, and he’s not here because he was tragically shot in the back of the head,” said Shean Williams, one of the family’s attorneys.
The family of 11-year-old D’Mari Johnson is offering a $10,000 reward for info on a shooting that has left him fighting for his life. D’Mari was shot in the back of the head outside Golden Glide Skating Rink in Decatur around April 9. pic.twitter.com/PqE5qRmLDp
— Valencia E. Jones (@vjreports3) April 18, 2022
Family members came to support D’Mari’s parents, Dionte Thomas and Courtney Johnson, and they urged the public to come forward with information on who shot him.
“He was a fun kid, an A and B honor roll student. He loved basketball, and he also loved football,” Brittani Johnson said. “We are confused. We want answers.”
“Golden Glide has a history of violence at that place, a history of fighting and shooting,” Williams said. “This shooting wouldn’t have occurred if you had adequate security and security measures at that property.”
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The family is demanding the DeKalb County Police Department give them a daily update on the investigation, and they’re also demanding officials close the skating rink until they can ensure it’s safe for kids.
“We’re asking DeKalb County leaders to step up. How many more incidents need to happen at Golden Glide before our own leaders in the community say, ‘You know what? Let’s step in and make sure that this place is safe before it’s opened up to other families and their children,” said Williams.
Williams also discussed the support the family has received. “We want to thank everyone in the community for their prayers and their thoughts. We also want to specifically thank Dr. Rashad Richey for putting up a $10,000 reward,” he said.
They’re hoping the reward will lead to answers.
Golden Glide Skating Rink did not immediately respond to CW69’s request for comment.
The DeKalb County Police Department issued the following statement:
The investigation into this incident is being diligently worked by our Homicide Assault Unit and we have made great strides since the incident occurred. As with all cases, we must ensure that the investigation be conducted carefully and with integrity. We are unable to discuss the circumstances or possible motive for the incident. We do not have any surveillance or other video that we can share. We have leads in this case that we are continuing to investigate. We greatly appreciate the numerous tips we have received surrounding this case and continue to encourage citizens who believe they may have information to contact the Homicide Assault Unit at 770-724-7850 or contact Crime Stoppers.
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Williams said anyone hesitant to contact police can contact his office at The Cochran Firm at 404-222-9922.