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Two teens arrested for Atlanta shooting last month that killed 12- and 15-year-olds, police say

By Melissa Alonso and Dakin Andone, CNN

Atlanta Police have arrested two teenagers in connection to a shooting last month that left a 12-year-old and 15-year-old dead, Deputy Chief Charles Hampton Jr. said in a news conference Wednesday.

At least four other teenagers were injured in the shooting, which police previously said occurred on the 17th Street bridge following a confrontation near Atlantic Station, a popular shopping district.

Authorities made the arrests Wednesday, taking into custody a 15-year-old and 16-year-old who each face two murder charges — one for each of the victims, Zyion Charles, 12, and Cameron Jackson, 15 — along with charges of aggravated assault and criminal gang activity, Hampton said.

Police were able to identify the suspects thanks to a video of the dispute and shooting, Hampton said. Authorities have not publicly identified the teens, but both are students in the Atlanta Public Schools system. The 16-year-old was apprehended in New York, Hampton said, with the assistance of the US Marshals Service.

The case remains “very active,” and additional charges are expected, he added.

Police previously said the shooting occurred the evening of November 26 after a “group of juveniles” were escorted off Atlantic Station property for “unruly behavior” and violating the retail district’s curfew. The group then moved to 17th Street, where the dispute occurred and gunfire erupted.

Zyion died at the scene. But it was Cameron, who succumbed to his injuries several days later, who was the intended target of the shooting, police said in a news conference November 30. At that time, authorities said there was no shootout and the suspects were firing at Cameron.

“All the bullets were meant, directed at Cameron,” Atlanta Det. Jarion Shephard said at the time. “Everybody else was collateral damage.”

In a public comment made before a City of Atlanta Public Safety Committee meeting last month, Zyion’s mother said she had repeatedly called police, asking for help with her son.

“I tried ya’ll. I called the police office almost thirty times, thirty times in the last two years. They told me they can’t do nothing,” Deerica Charles said.

Tearfully, Charles told the committee that she “called everybody I could,” begging them to “get him off the streets and sit him down before somebody killed my son.”

Hampton declined to respond when asked about Charles’ claims last month, saying police were focused on solving the murders.

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CNN’s Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.

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