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Elementary School Teacher Is Charged With Murder In Gang-related Revenge Killings Of An 11-year-old Girl And Her 15-year-old Brother

A Georgia elementary school teacher has been charged with murder in the gang-related shooting deaths of two young siblings in 2016. Based in part on a police sketch, police believe 26-year-old Michael De'Sean White was at the scene of the killings of 11-year-old Tatiyana Coates and her 15-year-old brother, Daveon Coates. Suspected gang members shot the children after breaking into their home in search of another 15-year-old boy, who had fled prior to the deadly home invasion. Clayton County Police Major Tina Daniel says at least one other person also has been arrested, and the agency is still waiting on ballistics tests on a gun recovered from a shootout in Tennessee the next day, reported WSB-TV. She would not say whether White, a fifth-grade teacher at Toney Elementary School, was the one who pulled the trigger, killing the Coates siblings. White was arrested on Friday and has been removed from the school pending the outcome of the criminal case. Daveon and Tatiyana Coates were home with four other children, aged between six and 13, at around 5am on October 22, 2016, when several people broke into the residence on Libby Lane in Jonesboro. One of the children inside the home called 911 to report the home invasion and when officers arrived
they found the brother and sister shot to death. The children's parents were believed to have been out for the night as the home invasion unfolded. Detectives believe that gang members attacked the home in Jonesboro looking for a 15-year-old who had been staying there with his mother and four siblings, and who was allegedly in possession of their weapons. Daveon and Tatiyana's mother had reportedly offered the other family a place to stay when they moved from Chattanooga, Tennessee, a couple of months before the tragedy, reported Chattanooga Times Free Press. Clayton County Police Chief Michael Register said the teen had run away back to Chattanooga because he knew that the members of the gang were coming for him, leaving his four younger brothers and sisters, along with the Coates children, to fend for themselves. The suspected murder weapon was recovered in Chattanooga the next day following a shootout involving the same gang members suspected in the Coates double homicide. White was hired as a teacher's aid at Dekalb Schools in March 2017 after passing a background check, according to Atlanta Journal Constitution. He became a fifth-grade teacher at Toney Elementary School in August of that year after submitting to a second background check, which officials say raised no red flags.

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