An Atlanta teen who wanted to leave a street gang was shot more than a dozen times by members of the gang when he told them his intentions, police say.
"Never since I've been in law enforcement have I seen someone shot 15 times and live," U.S. Marshal Eric Heinz said. "(He) told the other members of the gang, 'Hey, look, I want to go straight, be law-abiding,' and they weren't happy with it."
The 19-year-old was shot and started crawling and moaning, MyFoxAtlanta.com reported. The people who aided him are now in protective custody. The gang's motto is reportedly: You’re in until you die.
"(He) told the other members of the gang, 'Hey, look I want to go straight, be law-abiding,' and they weren't happy with it."
- U.S. Marshal Eric Heinz
A relative of the victim said that he underwent surgery and is recovering.
"I think he's strong and he's a survivor," said the relative, who asked not to be identified.
Agents with the U.S. Marshals Counter Gang Unit and Atlanta Police arrested two people in the shooting, including a 16-year-old and 19-year-old Farrakmad Muhammad Price, who they say was found Tuesday hiding in Tennessee.
The victim's family warned other teens against joining gangs.
"My message is change before it's too late. Because the same way they did him, somebody could do them," the relative said.