Six Flags Over Georgia Releases Statement After Opening Night Brawls End With Police Shootout And Injured Teen

Six Flags Over Georgia Releases Statement After Opening Night Brawls End With Police Shootout And Injured Teen

Six Flags Over Georgia reopened for the season this weekend and, unfortunately, the occasion was marked by some negative circumstances. When the Austell-based theme park opened its doors on Saturday, it was met with a large crowd that authorities were called in to help control. In time, several serious situations developed, including a number of fights among park attendees. A police shootout – that was allegedly initiated by people attending the park – also broke out near the park and, as a result, a teen is now critically injured. The company has now provided a statement on the tragic turn of events. 

The facility opened its doors again on Saturday, March 2, during which 500 to 600 people swarmed the park. According to Channel 2 Action News, as brawls amongst the patrons ensued, Cobb County police officers were called in during the early evening hours to manage the crowd, which was described as being “unruly.” Eventually, the swarm of people made its way out of the park with cops in tow. At that time, several suspects then reportedly began firing shots at officers, with one law enforcement official returning fire. As a result, a 15-year-old was shot by the officer. 

This situation remains under investigation and, as that ensues, a spokesperson for Six Flags Over Georgia shared a statement with Channel 2. The company emphasized that the shooting did not take place within the park or in its parking lot but on a nearby road. The message also addressed expectations for guests: 

"Our goal is to provide safe, fun entertainment. We employ state of the art security systems and metal detection, maintain a robust and vigilant Public Safety Department, and have strong support from Cobb County Police who are present both inside and outside the park. Every guest is expected to follow our strict code of conduct and anyone unwilling to follow that code of conduct is unwelcome." 

The teenager who was shot during the ordeal was reportedly taken to a hospital for treatment and remains in critical condition, as of this writing. They have also not been publicly identified by local authorities at this time. The statement from the Six Flags (and Cedar Fair-connected) location further reads:

"It is incredibly disappointing that our community is disrupted at public events throughout the region by groups of underaged youth. Just like other venues in the area, we are committed to keeping this type of trouble outside our park and off our property. There was police activity involving gunshots; we want to confirm there was no shooting at our property or parking lot. This took place on South Service Road that is not owned or operated by Six Flags. However, we join our community and the Atlanta region in our commitment to safety and security. We won’t put up with that type of activity here."

Sadly, this isn’t the only shooting related-incident to have taken place in proximity to a theme park in just the past few years. The Califorinia-based Knott’s Berry Farm experienced a serious situation in the summer of 2021 after two teens were injured in a drive-by shooting at the front entrance. Both were reported to be in stable condition afterwards. And, nearly a year ago, a woman was shot at Frankie’s Fun Park in South Carolina. This has all unfolded as gun arrests at Disney World increase.

As noted by Fox 5 Atlanta, Six Flags Over Georgia’s 2023 opening day was also marked by violence. At the time, several teens were escorted from the park due to their participation in fights. It remains to be seen what kind of legal action might be taken as a result of this year’s incident. It's also unclear as to when authorities might provide an update on the investigation.