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Bullets Fly, and Anger Rises

Something is seriously wrong when a mother and son picking up pizza have to dodge gunfire in East Cobb.

By Rebecca Quinn Mitchell

I am angry.

I mean really pissed off.

On April 5 around 7:30 p.m. a friend of mine and her son were shot at. Did you hear that? SHOT AT. And no, they didn't visit the Middle East for spring break. They were here, in East Cobb.

First of all, I’d like to tell you about my friend. We have a lot in common. We each have three kids who go to the same school. Our kids play on the same sports team. She’s also an entrepreneur and active in her community. We even have the same iPhone with pink otter cases.

She was returning from a trip and, knowing that there were no groceries in her house, stopped by on Roswell Road at the intersection of Robinson to grab something cheap and easy. Been there, done that. I probably get pizza for my kids there once a month.

She had her oldest child, age 11, with her. When they pulled up, they noticed a small coupe with young people in it, all wearing hoodies, which struck her as strange, even though the weather was a little cooler. They were listening to loud music and pretty rowdy with lots of Little Caesars Pizza trash around their car. She parked purposefully away from them, took her son and went into Little Caesars to order her pizzas.

On the way back to their car, the kids in the hoodies began yelling things at them. They questioned (very crudely) why a boy was playing with a pink phone. Guess what? My son would play with a giant pink Barbie if he could play Angry Birds on it. And why would that matter to these people anyway?

My friend and her son avoided the car and avoided making eye contact with the people who were taunting them. They hurried to their own car, a minivan, and opened up the side door so her son could sit down and she could put the pizza down.

They then heard two shots fired as her back window shattered.

She screamed at her son to get down, and they both lay, terrified, on the floor of the car. She frantically called 911 to report it. She heard tires squealing and reported the coupe's license plate to the operator. The police came and took a report.

I love the Cobb County Police Department. Truly. But this is a terrifying incident. And I sincerely hope that it is being treated as a hate crime, because that is surely what it was.

I eat lunch from the next door at least three times a week. Let’s just say they know exactly how I like my salad.

And across the street? I’m an East Cobb mom. You know I have nothing but love for you. But what are you all doing to protect us? , I’m looking at you, too. I do not plan on shopping in this area again until this incident is resolved.

Guess what else? Nobody saw anything. How original.

This beautiful mom and her young son were shot at with some kind of gun while getting into their minivan at 7:30 at night. If it could happen to them, it could happen to any one of us.

To borrow from today’s vernacular, WTF?!!!

So y'all be careful out there. And rest assured, as crazy as it might seem, this is not an urban legend. This happened to a real person I really know, a stone's throw from my son's preschool.

If you know who the victim is, keep it to yourself. This has been scary enough without worrying about someone trying to track them down. And if you have any information that could be helpful in resolving this crime, please call the Cobb police to report it.

A version of this column originally appeared as a note Rebecca Quinn Mitchell posted to her Facebook profile. We're reprinting it here with her permission.

Gary Bailey April 08, 2011 at 09:37 PM
Bex, I agree. The strip mall AND Little Caesars both have an obligation to keep patrons safe (see my last comment). We should all feel an obligation to ensure we convey that message.
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Avril Loy April 12, 2011 at 10:09 AM
Gary, Notice I was considerate enough to immediatlety revise my posting; especially anything which may denegrate a particular neighborhood. I acknowledge being emotional; however, I never used the term race. In fact, as I previously stated, your comment about public transportation was the allusion. Secondly, it is about "me". "Me" as a tweny-year resident of East Cobb, mother of two biracial children, and frequent patron of the nail salon next to Little Ceasar's. I'm sorry your lonely and bitter.
M. Fresh April 12, 2011 at 11:02 AM
I don't understand the comment about Mr. Bailey being "lonely and bitter". Do you two know each other? With the allusion to Trickum road area being white, redneck, racists - there seems to be enough bitterness to be shared.

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