A young woman in Atlanta, Georgia, lost her life this week as a result of an argument over a bowling ball, police said, describing the incident as an "atrocity."
According to WSB-TV, officers responded to reports of shots fired outside the Metro Fun Center in southwest Atlanta just before 11 p.m. on Thursday night. When they arrived, they discovered the body of a 31-year-old woman later identified as Lakevia Jackson.
Jackson had reportedly been attending a celebration at the amusement venue — which includes a bowling alley, arcade, and roller skating rink, among other entertainment options — when she got into an argument with an unidentified man.
The argument reportedly escalated and spilled into the parking lot, where the man is believed to have opened fire on Jackson, killing her, WAGA-TV reported.
Lt. Ralph Woolfolk, who commands the department’s homicide unit, lamented the senseless tragedy in conversation with reporters Thursday.
"This is truly an atrocity," Woolfolk said, not mincing words. "We talk about conflict resolution time and time again, and once again this is an escalated dispute in which a young lady has lost her life over a bowling ball."
Police only have one suspect in the case, but as of Friday morning, he had not been identified. The incident was reportedly captured by surveillance video and investigators spent Thursday night collecting ballistic evidence and speaking to witnesses on the scene to piece together what happened.
"We will find the person who’s responsible. You know who you are. Go ahead and turn yourself in. We assure you that we will bring you into custody," Woolfolk said.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted that about 41% of homicides in Atlanta this year have resulted from disputes that escalated to gunfire. Homicides are also up in the city since the start of the year.
Law enforcement officials have begged city residents to stop the violence. Just this week, Atlanta Deputy Police Chief Charles Hampton urged residents to put their guns down, suggesting that police presence alone is unable to keep up with the crime.
"Even if we had cops on every street, some of these instances we would not be able to prevent," Hampton reportedly said during a press conference Tuesday. "We need people to be human beings, treat one another with love and respect, put the guns down, and resolve these conflicts peacefully."