Waycross, GA — Dominique Goodman Sr. is both infuriated and thanking God that his children, 9, 12, and 14, survived the insane and potentially fatal shooting by two of Georgia’s finest. His family was on the way back from Walmart and about to head to their football game Saturday when police targeted the car they were in after it allegedly rolled a stop sign.
The two officers involved have been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for opening fire on five children — ages 9, 12, 14, 15 and 16.
According to a statement from the GBI, the entire ordeal started over a minor traffic offense of running a stop sign.
Preliminary information indicates that on Saturday, August 8, 2020, at approximately 8:00 a.m, an officer with the Waycross Police Department observed a traffic violation at the intersection of Howe and Brunell Street. The officer attempted to obtain the license plate information. As the vehicle approached the area of Walters and Greenwood Street, three minors (ages 9, 12, and 14) exited the vehicle and ran off while the vehicle stopped. A second officer responded to assist while the first officer followed the three minors in his vehicle. As the second officer began to approach the vehicle from the front, the vehicle drove towards him. The officer fired multiple times at the vehicle.
At least seven shots were fired by the officer, the 9-year-old boy told WJXT. “It went past my face,” the boy told the affiliate. “I could have gotten shot in my face, but they shot the swing.”
“They shot at a car full of unarmed minors. A car full of unarmed children. Like who in the world can’t see that this is a 9-year-old? Who can’t see that this is a child? They look like children,” Goodman told WJXT. “They are babies. What was the purpose of the shooting?”
Goldman told reporters that he heard the gunfire and saw the children running toward the house screaming for help, a horrifying sight indeed.
“We go in the back, we open the door, we see my 9-year-old, my 12-year-old and 14-year-old running from the police behind them, gunshots coming behind them,” Goodman told the affiliate. “We go down the street and we see our 15-year-old and our 16-year-old on the ground.”
The 12-year-old boy told reporters the older teens were scared of what was going to happen so they told younger kids to get out of the vehicle and run home to get help. When the small children exited the vehicle, the officer began shooting immediately, according to the child.
Had they not exited the vehicle at that time, they could’ve been killed by police.
After police opened fire on the car, the 15 and 16-year-old children still in it were so scared that they jumped out while it was still in drive. Police claim an altercation of some sort occurred between the 15-year-old and the officers, leading to the child sustaining injuries.
Photos from the scene show the child dripping in blood.
According to KTLA:
The 16-year-old was arrested for possession of a handgun by a person under 18, reckless driving, a stop sign violation, aggravated assault on a police officer, and driving with no driver’s license, the Waycross Police news release said.
The 15-year-old was charged with possession of a handgun by a person under 18, obstruction of an officer (felony), and removal or attempt to remove firearm from an officer, according to the Waycross Police release.
Part of the stop was captured on video and shows Goodman pleading with the officers not to kill his children.
“They’re minors man! Please!” he says in the video.
“This is a good neighborhood. All the neighbors are basically kin. To hear gunshots in this neighborhood and to see that it’s our kids being shot at, at everybody in the neighborhood knows our kids. They know they’re not bad kids,” Goodman told WJXT. “Our kids almost lose their lives to go to a football game? Man, that’s crazy. That’s crazy. Almost lost their lives going to a football game.”
“I’m very concerned that shots were fired while children were involved,” attorney Gerald Griggs, vice president of the city’s NAACP chapter told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as he called for the release of the police footage. “We’re concerned that level of force was used.”