Decatur Police: Teenage girls held up at gunpoint on Church StreetPhoto by Dan Whisenhunt
This story has been updated.
Decatur Police say two teenage girls were held up at gunpoint while walking within the crosswalk on Church Street at Forkner Drive.
Lt. Jennifer Ross said that the parents of two girls, age 15 and 16, came to the Police Department lobby on Aug. 4 at 10:58 p.m. to report their daughters had been robbed.
The incident occurred around 10 p.m. while the girls were walking northbound on the crosswalk at Church Street at the intersection with Forkner Drive. They saw the two suspects approaching them from behind. Both started shouting, “Give me your phone and your wallet!” One suspect was pointing a handgun at the ground.
The victims began crying and shouting, “No, please don’t!”
“The armed suspect pointed the handgun towards them and again demanded the wallet and cell phone,” Ross said. “The victims began screaming at which point both suspects fled on foot southbound on Forkner Drive. The victims fled north on Church Street and ran home. The victims were not physically hurt and no items were taken.”
Ross provided the following descriptions of the suspects:
Suspect #1: Black male, approximately 17-19 years old, light complexion, approximately 5’11” tall, no facial hair, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, white shoes and armed with a black handgun.
Suspect #2: Black male, approximately 17-19 years old, medium complexion, approximately 5’11” tall, obese, short hair and wearing a red t-shirt.
“While it is scary to even consider, it is important to talk to teens about what to do if they are confronted with these types of situations,” Ross said. “Please stress to them that NO ITEM IS WORTH YOUR LIFE. Things can be replaced. People cannot be replaced. Talk through potential scenarios with them and come up with ideas of what they could do. Stress being aware and not distracted by things like their phones, trusting their instincts when something feels wrong or they feel unsafe and changing their path and cooperating with giving up their property if confronted with a robbery. The most important thing is that they are safe.”
Decaturish asked Ross if there was a connection between this incident and one that occurred on Thursday evening at Oakhurst Elementary School. In that incident, the two victims were attempting to sell shoes at the school when the would-be purchasers turned the tables on them and tried to rob them at gunpoint.
“We are not ruling that out at this time,” Ross said about the possible connection between the two crimes.
Oakhurst Elementary sent an email to parents from the central office about the situation on Friday afternoon, Aug. 5.
“The district is aware of the incident that happened last night and as always the safety and security of our students and staff is our highest priority,” the emails ays. “District leaders worked with the Decatur Police Department last night to ensure that this was an isolated incident on school grounds and that there were no concerns with operating school on Friday. SRO Damico has been at Oakhurst today as part of his normal procedures. For details about the incident, please refer to the Decatur Police Department and official police statements issued to local media outlets.”