The fatal shooting of 7-year-old Kennedy Maxie last week led to rising tensions between Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and city council.


BUCKHEAD, GA — A 7-year-old girl, Kennedy Maxie, died Saturday night — five days after she was fatally shot by a stray bullet while Christmas shopping in Buckhead, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. How to tackle gun violence in the city has led to a public spat between city officials.

Maxie was shot in the back of the head Dec. 21 while riding with her mother and aunt near Phipps Plaza. Investigators do not believe the family's vehicle was the intended target of the shooting, which stemmed from an argument between several men in the parking lot of Saks Fifth Avenue, according to the AJC.

Maxie, who lived in Cobb County and attended Sedalia Park Elementary, had been in critical condition at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite since that evening until she died of her injuries Saturday night.

The fatal shooting led to a public tiff between Atlanta City Council Member Howard Shook and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, the AJC reported. Shook, who is in his fifth term representing a portion of Buckhead, released a statement Dec. 22 heavily criticizing Bottoms' administration and the "utter lawlessness that defines what it means to live in Atlanta."

"It will take a lot to turn this around. But here; in descending order, are the three things we need to begin: 1) Leadership; 2) Some leadership; 3) Any leadership," Shook said in the statement.

Shook did not mention Bottoms by name, but directed his comments at the city of Atlanta's administration as a whole.

"To the administration: I don't want to hear the word 'uptick.' Stop minimizing our concerns by telling us that 'crime is up everywhere.' Spare us from the lie that the steady outflow of our officers isn't as bad as it is," Shook said in the statement. "And please, not another throw-away press conference utterly devoid of game-changing action steps."

In a statement to the AJC, Bottoms' office said the mention of the widespread surge in violence is "not an abdication of responsibility, but an acknowledgement of the widespread severity of the issue."