An Atlanta shooter is killing homeless people while they sleep. Authorities said two homeless people were shot and killed within the last five days. Both victims suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
Officials believe the crimes were related, as both victims were wrapped in blankets and were likely asleep when they were killed. Even more disturbing, it is unclear what motivated the shooter to kill the homeless people while they slept.
Authorities confirmed there were no indications of a struggle and neither victim was robbed. The first victim was found over the weekend near Ralph McGill Blvd. and Courtland St. The second victim was discovered on Wednesday near Whitehall St. and Northside Ave.
Atlanta officials are asking residents to report any suspicious activity. They also issued a warning to the city’s homeless, who are often forced to sleep on the streets. As reported by WMYT 12, authorities are seeking any information in connection with the shootings.
It is difficult to imagine how someone could shoot the homeless while they sleep. Unfortunately, homeless people are often targets as they simply do not have the means to defend themselves.
In 2012, the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH), along with its Civil Rights Work Group/Grassroots Organizing Committee, compiled data to better understand hate crimes and violence against the homeless.
The researchers determined that a majority of reported attacks were committed by teenage “thrill seekers.” As defined in the study, thrill seekers are “those who take advantage of a vulnerable and disadvantaged group in order to satisfy their own pleasures.”
In some states, violence against the homeless is prosecuted as a hate crime. However, activists are pushing for similar laws at the federal level. As discussed in the study, NCH offers several other suggestions to curb violence against homeless people.
Their recommendations include educating children and teens about homelessness, in an effort “to humanize” those who are living on the streets. They also recommend “advocating for more affordable housing and permanent supportive housing” so homeless people are not forced to sleep on the street.
It is unclear why the Atlanta suspect is targeting the homeless community and whether he or she is working alone or not. Authorities have not mentioned whether this week’s shootings are similar to unsolved murders elsewhere in the region.
As reported by My Fox Atlanta, officials have not identified the shooter who killed the homeless while they slept. However, they are quite certain that the same suspect killed both victims. Authorities hope the warning will prevent similar crimes in the future.
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