Georgia officers on leave after firing at vehicle with minors inside

Georgia officers on leave after firing at vehicle with minors inside
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Two Georgia police officers have been placed on leave after a Saturday morning incident in which they fired at five minors during a vehicle stop.

Waycross, Ga., police attempted to obtain the license plate information for a car around 8 a.m. following a traffic violation, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Five minors, aged 9, 12, 14, 15 and 16 were in the car.

After three of the children left the car as it continued to move toward the officers, they fired “multiple times” at the car with the 15- and 16-year-old still inside, according to the GBI. Police went on to arrest both the 16-year-old and the 15-year-old for possession of a handgun by a person under 18.

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The 16-year-old was also charged with reckless driving, a stop sign violation, aggravated assault on a police officer and driving without a license. Police charged the 15-year-old with obstruction of an officer and removal or attempt to remove firearm from an officer.

The three younger children said they had been on the way back from Walmart when the officer began pursuing them, only turning on his lights once they were in their neighborhood, Dominique Goodman Sr., the minors’ father, told CNN affiliate WJXT.

The 12-year-old said the two older teens told the others to leave the car and run home to alert their father, at which point the officers began firing.

"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?"

He told the affiliate they had been on their way to pick him up before they headed to a football tournament in Jacksonville where two of them were scheduled to play.

"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."