Georgia Teacher Charged With Murder After Gang Retaliation Killings
A teacher in Georgia is facing murder charges after two children were killed in what officials are calling gang retaliation.
Tatiyana Coates, 11, and her brother, Daveon Coates, 15, were killed in 2016 in DeKalb County.
A sketch of a man seen at the scene of the crime, drawn by a forensic artist, helped Clayton police officers identity Michael De’Sean White, 26, who works as a school teacher at Toney Elementary School.
White has been charged with four counts of murder after the arrest this week, Clayton County Police Department Maj. Tina Daniel told WSB-TV.
“The details, as far as the sketch and the photo, are incredibly similar,” Daniel said. The sketch and White’s booking photo are side-by-side at the top of the article.
Daniel said it appears that White had at least one accomplice.
The teacher has been removed from Toney Elementary School until an investigation is complete. He began teaching at the school in August 2017.
Police officers said after the murder that the Coates’ home was broken into and Daveon and Tatiyana were shot and killed while they slept in a gang retaliation that missed its target, reported The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“There is nothing glamorous about being in a gang,” Police Chief Mike Register said after the killings.
“What happened to that 11-year-old and that 15-year-old that morning—you can call yourself whatever you want, but the cold, hard facts are you are a punk and a coward and a murderer to go in and do what you did.”
— AJC (@ajc) October 31, 2016
BREAKING: Police in Clayton Co. make 11 arrests in connection w/ 2016 shooting deaths of two children with Chattanooga ties.
— WTVC NewsChannel 9 (@newschannelnine) March 29, 2018
Officers said they believe the killers were looking for another 15-year-old boy who was not home at the time. That boy actually moved to Tennessee, reported the Chattanooga Times Free-Press.
A shootout that broke out in the city reportedly involved the teenager, according to police in Chattanooga. A gun recovered from that shootout was treated as evidence in the Georgia killings.