Mableton mayor calls for public safety meetings after Six Flags shooting

Cobb County Police car

Mableton Mayor Michael Owens sent out the following press release this afternoon in response to the shooting of an individual by police near Six Flags.

This happened after a crowd of 500-600 reportedly ran through the park fighting on Saturday, March 2.

Police report they were fired upon outside the park, and returned fire striking an individual. The incident has been turned over to the GBI for investigation.

Here is the press release from Mayor Owens:

Following recent events near Six Flags Over Georgia, Mayor Michael Owens has called for a series of meetings with public safety and community leaders to address concerns and devise strategies to ensure the safety of individuals within the Six Flags area.

The meetings will bring together prominent figures in public safety, including Cobb County Sheriff Craig Owens, Cobb County Public Safety Director Michael Register, and Cobb County Police Chief Stuart VanHoozer. Additionally, invitations have been extended to Commissioner Monique Sheffield and David Zellner, President of Six Flags, to participate in these crucial discussions.

Mayor Owens stated, “The safety and security of our residents and visitors are paramount, and it is imperative that we collaborate closely with law enforcement agencies and Six Flags management to identify potential vulnerabilities and implement proactive measures to mitigate risks.”

During these meetings, city, county, and business leaders will review the events that took place in the lead-up, during, and after the incident inside and outside of the park on the evening of Saturday, March 2nd – opening day at Six Flags Over Georgia. The Mayor also plans to ask public safety leaders to discuss current safety protocols and procedures and explore innovative approaches to enhance security in and around the Six Flags area.

Owens continued, “As leaders entrusted with the well-being of our community, it is our collective responsibility to prioritize public safety and take decisive action to address emerging challenges. By working together collaboratively, we can effectively safeguard the welfare of all individuals who patronize Six Flags and its surrounding areas… This is not the first meeting that we have collectively had about this issue and it will not be the last, but we must act now with an immediate shared goal of creating a safer environment for everyone.”

Further updates with additional information and outcomes will be provided as they are available.


Officer Sherise Barner of the Cobb County Police Department distributed the following public information release on Sunday:

On Saturday, March 2, 2024, at approximately 6:15 pm, Cobb County Officers assisted Six Flags Security with a sizeable unruly crowd within the park. The crowd consisted of approximately 500-600 guests running through the park and fighting. Cobb County Police and Security were able to follow the crowd out of the park onto Six Flags Parkway near South Service Road. As officers followed the crowd out, ensuring they left the property, an unknown number of suspects fired at officers. An officer returned fire, striking one of the suspects. The suspect was provided medical aid on scene and transported to Grady Memorial Hospital.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been notified and will assume responsibility for the investigation. Additional updates will be provided through the GBI office.

The GBI’s role in officer-involved shootings

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation routinely investigates the shooting of individuals by police officers, as well as any time an officer discharges a firearm while on duty, at the request of the police agency involved in the shooting.

Natalie Ammons, the Deputy Director of the GBI’s Office of Public Affairs explained to us how the system works.

Police agencies are not required to request outside investigation of officer involved shootings, and there is no formal agreement between the GBI and local police departments.

But police agencies make the request so that an independent agency does the investigation in an incident involving their own officers.

The investigations are carried out by Special Agents in a regional office within the area where the police agency is located. Cobb County, and much of the rest of metro Atlanta, is in the GBI’s Region 10, based in Conyers.

In Region 10, officer involved shootings and corruption investigations are the primary investigations Special Agents do, while in more rural areas with fewer police resources the agents handle a wider range of criminal investigations.

There is no special unit or division that conducts the investigation of officer involved shootings.

The announcements of the investigations can be found at the GBI’s press release web page.