NBC News - Atlanta police say they arrested a suspect in connection with the death of 7-year-old Kennedy Maxie, a Georgia girl who was struck and killed by an apparent stray bullet after Christmas shopping with her family.
Atlanta investigators coordinated with U.S. Marshals to arrest 24-year-old Daquan Reed in Hampton Roads, Virginia on Wednesday, according to Atlanta Police Department officer Steve Avery. Reed awaits extradition to Georgia.
"We are very appreciative of work our investigators and the US Marshals put into locating and apprehending Mr. Reed," Avery wrote in a statement.
Officers announced on Dec. 29 that they had a warrant for Reed's arrest to face murder and gun charges.
When news broke that a stray bullet had killed a young girl in a major business district, it riveted the city of Atlanta, which saw a surge in homicides in 2020.
"As of the end of the week 52 reporting period we are at 154 homicides compared with 99 for the same period of 2019," Avery said in a statement. "That is an increase of 61%."
Kennedy's aunt told police that on Dec. 21, she was driving past Phipps Plaza on Peachtree Road when she heard gunshots. The aunt kept driving, and shortly thereafter noticed that Kennedy was "acting strangely," according to a police statement. She then realized that Kennedy had been shot and drove to a hospital.
The bullet struck Kennedy in the back of her head, police said. Kennedy was in critical condition for days before succumbing to her injuries on Dec. 26.
Some Atlanta city leaders linked Kennedy's death to their endorsement of a plan to increase security in Buckhead, the commercial neighborhood where she was shot.