Family of boy shot in head at DeKalb County skating rink question security measures at venue

Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 9:28 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - The family a 11-year-old boy shot outside a skating venue in DeKalb County and their lawyers want county officials to open an investigation into how the business operates.

The family of D’Mari Johnson held a press conference with their attorneys Shean Williams and Gary Andres of The Cochran Firm on Monday. More than two weeks after the shooting and they said there are still more questions than answers.

“We all just want justice for D’Mari Johnson,” said his aunt, Brittani Johnson. “He is fighting for his life and he’s a strong kid.”

Johnson was leaving the Golden Glide skating rink the night of April 9 when someone started shooting, according to police. Johnson was shot in the back of head and remains in a medically induced coma.

“We don’t know why he was shot,” Williams said. “We just know he shouldn’t have been shot.”

Williams called the Gold Glide a nuisance, alleging the business has been the scene of several fights and crime over the years. He believes the shooting would not have happened had Golden Glide had more security measures in place.

“We’re asking that it’d be shut down until there can be some surety to this community, to this family to other families, that they can take their kids to the skating rink and make sure they come home safely,” Williams said.

A CBS46 crew spotted at least nine security cameras outside of the property. It’s also our understanding Golden Glide has security guards inside when the business is open. We are still waiting to hear back from the owner.

DeKalb County Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson of Super District 7 told CBS46 Golden Glide is not currently considered a high-risk establishment. Still, she wants to ensure the business is operating under best practices.

“So, I have personally put in a call to the management there, so that I can have a conversation to better understand what it is that happens, and what it is that I may need to do, as an elected official, to ensure the safety of the children,” she said.

Meanwhile, media veteran and community advocate, Rashad Richey is offering up $10,000 dollars of his own money for information that leads to an arrest in the case.

“The reality is people move for money,” Richey said. “They move for money. And so, I’m calling not only law-abiding citizens, but I’m also calling on every drug dealer, every gangster, nobody should tolerate this and our societal structure. I don’t care who you are.”

Anyone with information is asked to call DeKalb police investigators at 770-724-7850. You can also leave an anonymous tip by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477.