Suspect identified in murder of 7-year-old Kennedy Maxie near Phipps Plaza

Suspect identified in murder of 7-year-old Kennedy Maxie near Phipps Plaza

ATLANTA — Atlanta police investigators announced they have identified a suspect in the shooting death of a 7-year-old girl in Buckhead.

Kennedy Maxie was shot while Christmas shopping with her family near Phipps Plaza. She had been in critical condition at a local hospital and died from her injuries Saturday night.

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Lead investigator Lt. Pete Malecki identified the suspect as Daquan Reed, 24 of Virginia, and said they have secured warrants for his arrest on felony murder charge. He is also facing charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and reckless conduct.

There is a $15,000 reward for any information that can lead to his arrest.

Malecki said Reed was at Saks Fifth Avenue and got into an argument. Reed then left the parking lot and “in a senseless act of rage” fired off shots, Malecki said. Police believe three shots went off, one of them hitting the car Maxie was in.

“That argument ended, Daquan left the parking lot in a vehicle and in a senseless act of rage discharged a firearm out of the window and one of those rounds hit the car Kennedy was riding in,” Malecki said.

Maxie was a student at Sedalia Park Elementary School in Cobb County. The community has set up a GoFundMe for her family that has raised nearly $60,000.

Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes is at Atlanta police headquarters where interim chief Rodney Bryant and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms spoke.

Bottoms said 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.

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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Police said Reed is a convicted felon and we learned that this isn’t the first shopping mall shooting. Two years ago, reports show Reed was involved in a shooting at a Virginia mall and got away.

Investigators said he came to Atlanta and that’s where officers arrested him in that case.

Leaders and people who live in the area say the shooting is just another example of the crime running rampant recently.

In Buckhead specifically, the violence around Lenox Square, Phipps Plaza and other Buckhead areas have pushed leaders to come up with their own security patrol.

The plan came out earlier this month, but with this latest tragedy some Atlanta council members are donating over $120,000 to a new security program aimed at keeping citizens safe.

The plan includes a private police force under the direction of Atlanta police. It’ll be off-duty police officers and security guards strictly securing the Buckhead shopping district.

“You know we have to do something about this, we’re not going to sit around. People have to know we’re taking steps. There will be consequences if you come into Atlanta and commit crime,” said Atlanta City Council member JP Matzigkeit.

Some Atlanta leaders looking for private police force after rise in crime in Buckhead