A traffic stop in Waycross, Georgia escalated after police shot at a car carrying five children, one as young as 9, on Saturday morning (August 8).
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation reports that five kids, ages 9 to 16, were in a car headed back home from a local Walmart when an officer began to follow the car to obtain license plate information. However, according to a statement given to NewsJax4 by the three youngest children, the police officer who was following them did not pull their car over until pulled into their neighborhood. None of the children were identified by name in the news report, or in the GBI report.
The 12-year-old said that the older teenagers were scared and told the youngest kids to get out of the car and run home to get their father. But once they got out of the vehicle, the children said, the officer started shooting.
“[The bullets] went past my face,” the 9-year-old said. “I could have gotten shot in my face, but they shot the swing.”
GBI reports that once the younger children ran away, the first officer followed them in his patrol car while a second office approached the older teens in the car. According to GBI, the car moved toward the officer and then the officer fired multiple shots.
According to one of the minors, at least seven shots were fired.
“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,” Dominique Goodman Sr., father of the five children said. “They are babies. What was the purpose of shooting?”
Goodman Sr. said the children were coming home to pick him up so they could attend a football tournament in Jacksonville, in which two of the kids were scheduled to play later in the day.
He continued: “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, and everybody in the neighborhood knows our kids. They know they’re not bad kids. Our kids almost lose their lives to go to a football game? Man, that’s crazy. That’s crazy. Almost lose their lives going to the football game.”
Following the incident, the oldest teens, ages 15 and 16, were taken into custody. The 16-year-old was charged with possession of a handgun by a minor, reckless driving, aggravated assault on a police officer, driving without a license and a stop sign violation, according to GBI.
The 15-year-old was charged with possession of a handgun by a minor, felony obstruction of an officer and removal or attempt to remove a firearm from an officer.
The GBI report appears to contradict Goodman Sr.’s statement to reporters that his children were unarmed at the time of the incident.
An independent investigation is ongoing, the GBI confirms.
(Photo: Getty Images)