DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Three officer-involved shootings on the same stretch of Candler Road have DeKalb residents and civic leaders concerned.
"We're pointing the finger at Candler road, we're pointing the finger at the government, we're pointing the finger at the police, but that's not the answer," said Commissioner Larry Johnson, who represents DeKalb's District 3.
He's among many people awaiting details from the GBI about the most recent officer-involved shooting at the Chevron on Candler and Misty Waters Drive. DeKalb County Police Chief James Conway told reporters a man jumped out of a BMW Tuesday night and ran away after the vehicle was pulled over by a DeKalb County police officer.
The subject line on foot and jumped over a fence and as he ran he fired at least one shot at the officer. The officer returned several times hitting the subject," the Chief said Tuesday night as he stood in front of an active crime scene covered by rank and file officers.
Officer Edgar Flores was killed in the line of duty just a few blocks from the Chevron after he pulled over a driver for a traffic stop. According to investigators, on January 7th, an off-duty Clarkston police officer shot two young men trying to rob an innocent man walking down Candler Road. The incident happened a half a mile from the other two crime scenes.
"Our children are lost and we have another cycle of children that are out of control because we're not talking, we're not listening and we're not engaging them, we're just pointing the finger and that's not the answer," said Johnson, who's been a South DeKalb commissioner for 16 years.
Johnson believes the problem starts at home with parents having constructive conversations with young people about the company they keep and what to do and what not to do when confronted by police. But the conversation, he said, doesn't end there.
We have to be proactive. The police have to do their job. The community has to be vigilant in their job. It has to be a team effort," said
Johnson insists the problem is not busy Candler road but the community as a whole. He points to the fact that this same stretch of road has seen new businesses, a new library, a new high rise for senior citizens and a long-awaited expansion of Candler near I-285 has proof that the community is thriving in spite of the crime.
"It's frustrating when you take a step forward and something like this makes you take a step back, but I'm committed to moving forward because we just cannot let these incidents stop the progress we are making in DeKalb and on Candler Road," said Johnson.