Child killed by stray bullet

By Greg Gelpi

A four-year-old boy walking his bicycle alongside his grandmother was shot and killed by a stray bullet that came from a hail of gunfire.

The boy, Trevon Wilson, and his grandmother, Glenda Darville, were the unintended victims of an altercation between two groups of people at a park on Church Street in Riverdale Sunday, said Debra Johnson, a Riverdale police officer.

"Quite a bit" of shots were fired during the altercation, Johnson said. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which is assisting the Riverdale Police Department's investigation, scoured the scene Monday collecting shell casings.

Johnson said the number of shots could be between 30 and 50, although investigators were still collecting shell casings and surveying the crime scene.

Riverdale police are looking into the possibility of the killing being gang-related, Johnson said.

"We don't know if it was gang-related or not," she said. "We're still looking into that."

The unknown number of suspects left the park on foot after the 7:22 p.m. incident, Johnson said.

"We would love to give the family some closure," Johnson said. "The more information we can get the better. The park was crowded so somebody must have seen something."

The park has baseball fields, a football field, tennis courts and a recreation building, she said. It's even more crowded during the week when Little League baseball games are played.

"It could have been a lot more tragic," Johnson said. "The poor child was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

The grandmother was also shot. She was "grazed" by a bullet, but is expected to be fine, Johnson said.

The GBI completed an autopsy Monday, Vicki Metz, a GBI spokeswoman said. The GBI doesn't release details of an autopsy of an ongoing investigation, but the boy was killed by a gunshot and the GBI determined it was a homicide.

Gary Dukes, the director of the Clayton County Parks and Recreation Department, said the number of crimes at the county's recreation facilities are "very few fortunately," although one is too many.

Three full-time county employees patrol the county's parks, and the county hires part-time workers on occasion, Dukes said. The Clayton County Police Department and municipal police departments also patrol the parks.

"It just appears to be an unfortunate incident," he said. "This doesn't sound like an issue of not enough security. You can't be everywhere at the same time."

Johnson said police are asking for the public's help in learning the details of what happened and in identifying the suspects.

She said anyone with any information, such as unusual people, clothing, tattoos or vehicles, should call the Riverdale Police Department at (770) 996-3382 and speak with a detective or dial extension 114 to speak with her.