Trial begins for man accused of shooting 7-year-old who was Christmas shopping with family

ATLANTA — The trial for a man accused of murdering a 7-year-old girl who was shot in Buckhead days before Christmas 2020 is now underway.

Kennedy Maxie was shot while Christmas shopping with her family near Phipps Plaza and died from her injuries six days later.

Police say Daquan Reed, a then-24-year-old from Virginia, was at Saks Fifth Avenue when he got into an argument. Reed then left the parking lot and “in a senseless act of rage” fired off shots, lead investigator Lt. Pete Malecki said days after the murder. Police believe three shots went off, one of them hitting the car Maxie was in.

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The jury for Reed’s murder trial was officially set on Thursday, meaning that opening statements are expected to begin on Friday morning.

We’ll have the latest updates from court this afternoon on Channel 2 Action News starting at 4 p.m.

Investigators said Reed is a convicted felon and Channel 2 Action News learned that this isn’t the first shopping mall shooting he was involved in. Back in 2018, reports show Reed was involved in a shooting at a Virginia mall and got away before being arrested in Atlanta.


Maxie was a student at Sedalia Park Elementary School in Cobb County. The community set up a GoFundMe for her family that raised more than $71,000.

Former Atlanta Mayor Keshia Lance Bottoms said at the time that her family knows the pain of losing a member to senseless gun violence. Bottoms said she has spoke with Maxie’s mother and grandmother in the past week.

“She couldn’t stop crying. She said repeatedly her baby didn’t deserve that. In my conversations with her grandmother after she passed, they didn’t even know what funeral home to call. Her family has been in Atlanta for 20 years and never had to bury anyone,” Bottoms said.

Former Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said good police work and an eyewitness who had the courage to step forward helped detectives identify the suspect and piece together what transpired minutes before the suspect started shooting.

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It’s unclear how long the trial is expected to last. If convicted, Reed could face a possible sentence of life in prison.