The parents of 8-year-old Secoriea Turner are pleading for information on their daughter’s fatal shooting in Atlanta, assuring witnesses or anyone else with information they won’t be deemed a snitch.
Secoriea Turner was shot July 4 near the Wendy’s where a police officer killed Rayshard Brooks. The parents asked for the public’s help a day after Atlanta police released new images of an additional person of interest in connection with the shooting.
The girl is scheduled to be laid to rest Wednesday.
‘You will be labeled as a hero’
Before issuing his plea to the public, father Secoriya Williamson spoke briefly about his daughter, saying she “wasn’t a hard child to raise. She was a great girl.”
Somebody saw something, Williamson said. The father is sure of it. He reminded those who have information that his daughter wasn’t out in the street committing crimes.
“Please don’t use the word snitch because my daughter wasn’t in the streets,” he said. “So if you know something, say something. Anything, say something. You won’t be labeled as a snitch. Do what’s right. What if it was your child?”
He continued, “Just come forward. You will not be labeled as a snitch. You will be labeled as a hero because you’re doing what’s right. I would do the same thing for your child. I swear I would.”
Williamson won’t rest until his daughter’s killer or killers are brought to justice, he said.
“Secoriea’s life mattered, and I promise you we’re going to put it in your face every chance we get until you turn yourself in,” he vowed.
Mother Charmaine Turner had to be consoled as she spoke. She wept as she begged a “lady in a red shirt,” who she saw recording events that night, to come forward.
“Please help us. My baby was supposed to be here. … I had to watch my baby take her last breath in front of me. Please help me,” she said. “Call me. I just want to know why. What happened? Why?”
New photos of a person of interest
Secoriea was riding in a vehicle with Turner and an adult friend when the shooting took place, police said. As protests over Brooks’ killing unfolded, the driver attempted to enter a parking lot where demonstrators had illegally placed barricades. Someone opened fire on the vehicle, striking the girl, police said.
Police initially said the shooters were both men, one wearing all black and the other wearing a white T-shirt.
New images released by police and Crime Stoppers show a man in a red shirt and blue jeans.
“I am asking you to please honor this baby’s life. Please, if you know who did this, please turn them in,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a news conference. “Enough is enough.”
Crime Stoppers is offering a $20,000 reward for anyone providing information about the shooting. The family and its legal team have raised additional funds to bring the reward total to $50,000, attorney Mawuli Davis said.
A group of residents will begin canvassing the community for information about the girl’s killing, the legal team announced.
Murray Brothers Funeral Home in Atlanta will hold a viewing for Secoriea on Tuesday. A note on the funeral home’s website says that, because of Covid-19 precautions, all gatherings are limited to 10 people.
Secoriea’s funeral will be held Wednesday at New Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta. Only those with an invitation may attend, the law firm said, citing Covid-19 restrictions. A live stream of the services will be provided, the Murray Brothers obituary said.
Along with Secoriea, a 53-year-old man was fatally shot July 4 holiday weekend, and two other people were injured in a shooting near the same Wendy’s. Gov. Brian Kemp said the violence in the Georgia capital prompted him to activate National Guard troops.
Secoriea was one of at least six children killed in shootings across the country that weekend.