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Payton’s mother, Donese Gordon, said her son had just started his first job at Chick-fil-A.
"He was so excited about getting that job," she told WSB. "He was so happy."
Payton was shot and killed at his best friend’s house early Tuesday morning. The boys had been friends since they were 6 years old, Gordon said.
"He wasn't in a gang. He didn't sell drugs," Gordon said. "He wasn't just hanging out in somebody's neighborhood. He was in another parent's house.”
She said her son and his friend had gone to McDonald's and were returning home when the gunmen drove up. She said the gunmen ordered them to give up their money and then opened fire.
"Grant got shot in the face. He got out of the car and ran in the house, but he collapsed and died," she said. "It's a pain I can't describe. One minute I'm crying, I'm lost and I'm numb."
A neighbor told WSB he and his wife were asleep and woke up to what they thought were fireworks. They soon realized it was gunshots.
"We just heard shooting. About 40, 50 rounds going off like it's right next to you," the neighbor said.
Police were at the scene for more than 10 hours. Detectives wrapped up their on-scene investigation just after 12 p.m. and are being tight-lipped about their investigation.
"We don't have a motive at this time," South Fulton Police Department spokeswoman Partrena Smith said.
Police could not say if they have any suspects or a description of the shooter or shooters.