Two teenagers are dead and multiple other people were injured at a shooting in an Atlanta apartment complex Saturday evening, police said.
At 5:09 p.m., Atlanta police responded to a report of multiple people shot at The Retreat at Greenbriar apartment complex.
A 14-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy were pronounced dead at the scene, Deputy Police Chief Charles Hampton Jr. told reporters at a news conference.
An 11-year-old boy, a 15-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy were taken to an area hospital — two were shot, and one had been grazed by a bullet, Hampton said.
"It appears several victims were taken to the hospital by private vehicle prior to police arriving on scene," police said in a news release.
Hampton would not comment about whether any other people were injured apart from those who he said were taken to the hospital.
The shooting stemmed from a "dispute on social media," Hampton said.
"One group of individuals came to the apartment with their guns, and then the other group fired their weapons," he said. "Both parties had weapons."
Hampton said that "multiple people were shooting" and that it's "a fair assessment to say it was a shootout.”
According to a preliminary investigation, the shooting started in an apartment in the complex and carried over outside. The injured were found in the apartment, while the 14-year-old and 16-year-old boys were found outside.
Just weeks ago, another shooting near a popular Atlanta shopping destination killed a 12-year-old and injured five minors.
“I hate being here talking about kids and gunfire," Hampton said. "We just ask parents to know where your kids are, know what they’re doing, check rooms. Again, it’s just too many guns in the hands of our youth."
In a statement, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said his heart is broken for the families.
"A week before Christmas, families should be preparing to celebrate. Instead, we have parents in Atlanta doing what no parent should ever have to do: laying their children to rest," he said.
Dickens said that "one of the five involved in last night's incident was an Atlanta resident."
"Gun violence has become the leading cause of death for adolescents in the United States. That's especially true for Black boys and young men," he said. "While we avoided youth violence over the summer and early fall, these last few weeks have shown all too clearly that Atlanta is not immune from this unacceptable trend."
Police continue to investigate and ask anyone with information to come forward.