Inman Park Butterfly Mural by Chris Veal.

Parents are on high alert after a loaded gun was found at an Intown playground on Freedom Park Trail. The playground is near Euclid Avenue and Hurt Street, north of Inman Park MARTA station. 

On Aug. 5, Inman Park neighbors reported the gun to Atlanta City Council members Amir Farohki and Matt Westmoreland. No description of the gun was provided. 

It was the second gun found on the playground in nine months. 

“On Thanksgiving Day 2022, our 8 year old found a fully loaded pistol with hollow-point bullets just feet from a playground near our house,” one Inman Park family emailed to city officials. “Our 4 year old and our 18 month old niece were at the playground too, as were two other Inman Park children. The cops came and handled everything professionally, but it definitely left our community rattled … perhaps hoping it was a one-off.”

Drugs and drug-related paraphernalia have also been found on the playground. Freedom Park Trail serves as a connection for MARTA riders, and is popular with joggers and walkers. 

“We need to secure this playground and secure this stretch of Freedom Park,” the email states, alleging that people gather in the park late at night because it’s hidden from the street.

Community advocate and Inman Park resident Alison Gordon alerted city of Atlanta staff, including Mayor Andre Dickens, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Justin Cutler and Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum. 

Gordon did not respond to a request for comment. 

Cutler replied to Gordon that as a parent, he can’t imagine how unsettling it would be for the children and families involved.  

“The city of Atlanta takes these matters seriously and my first step will be to make my team aware of the situation and ask that our parks crews when visiting the park are proactive in looking for guns during routine maintenance activities. Secondly, I will alert our Park Ranger Major Singh of the situation and Major Singh will work with APD to address your concerns in a coordinated manner.” 

Cutler said to report found drug paraphernalia, guns, or illicit activity by calling Police Information at 404-614-6544 or if activity is actively occurring, call 911. 

The Inman Park Neighborhood Association told Rough Draft it takes the issue of finding unsecured weapons in the neighborhood very seriously.

“Once we learned of the event, we reached out to our Atlanta Police Department Zone 6 Commander and alerted our Inman Park Security Patrol to conduct additional patrols in the area.”

APD said there is no record of any reports related to guns found at Inman Park, but is continuing to look into it.

Logan C. Ritchie writes features and covers Brookhaven for Rough Draft Atlanta.