Suspect accused of stabbing great-nephew of Nat King Cole to death arrested, APD says

FAIRBURN, Ga. — The man accused of stabbing the great-nephew of Nat King Cole to death has been arrested, Atlanta Police confirmed to Channel 2 Action News.

Police say Ricardo Gayle was arrested by the Fairburn Police Department Saturday evening.

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Tracy Cole, 31, was stabbed multiple times just after 2 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 14 in the 300 block of Centennial Olympic Park Drive. He was taken to the hospital, where he died.

Homicide investigators say Tracy Cole’s stabbing death was not a random act; the victim and suspect were confirmed to be familiar with each other.


Cole was the grandson of Freddy Cole, one of Nat King Cole’s three brothers. Freddy Cole was also a renowned jazz singer and pianist who was inducted into the Georgia Hall of Fame in 2007. Freddy Cole was born in Chicago but lived in Atlanta for most of his career and died in 2020.

Channel 2 Action News has reached out to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department to request Gayle’s mugshot, but were told he is still in processing.

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