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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

City steps up police presence in East Atlanta, Grant Park; offers up to $25,000 reward

Additional Atlanta Police officers will be deployed in East Atlanta, Grant Park, and surrounding southeast Atlanta neighborhoods after several high-profile shootings and robberies in the last few weeks.

Southeast Atlanta residents were rattled by the recent shootings, including the Saturday killing of Patrick Cotrona, a video game engineer and East Atlanta resident who was shot by an armed robber while walking to a nearby pub. The crime followed another nearby shooting just one week before.

"My administration's top priority is public safety," said Mayor Kasim Reed, who also expressed his condolences to Cotrona's friends and families. "It troubles me deeply to hear of violent crime against people in our city's neighborhoods."

In response, the mayor says, Atlanta Police will increase their presence throughout East Atlanta by increasing foot patrols, mounted patrols, and conduct safety checkpoints with DeKalb County and Fulton County Police. Atlanta Police Chief George Turner added that his officers will continue to "work aggressively" in their ongoing investigations.

"The additional resources we are deploying are part of our efforts to reduce violent crime in East Atlanta and throughout the city," said Turner. "We stand with the families of those whose lives have been needlessly cut short, and will work with the community to solve these crimes."

APD spokesman Greg Lyon told WSB yesterday that the Cotrona's killing may be connected to a recent shooting in nearby Grant Park. Two weeks ago, a man was shot in the eye near Georgia Avenue and Grant Street while walking home from an Atlanta Braves game. Police officers canvassed the area this week and released surveillance footage this afternoon of two possible suspects, which you can see below.

The Grant Park Neighborhood Association's steering committee has allocated a $500 CrimeStoppers donation to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and indictment of the two suspects responsible for the shooting.

In addition, the APD is also offering a cash reward of up to $25,000 to anyone who shares information leading the arrests and indictments tied to the East Atlanta killings.

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