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US Marshals arrest man, 24, over killing of 7-year-old girl who was hit by stray bullet as she rode in family car in attack that forced Atlanta mayor to admit she doesn't know how to stop crime wave

 US Marshals in Virginia have arrested a man accused of fatally shooting a 7-year-old girl who was riding in a car with her family after a day of Christmas shopping in Atlanta.

Kennedy Maxie was hit by a stray bullet on December 21 near the popular Phipps Plaza mall in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood. 

She died the day after Christmas, prompting Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to admit that she does not have the answers to the violence problem in her city.

Daquan Reed, 24, was apprehended on Wednesday in Hampton, Virginia, more than 500 miles away from the crime scene, by the US Marshals Service, Atlanta police announced.

Daquan Reed, 24, was apprehended in Hampton, Virginia
Kennedy Maxie, 7

Daquan Reed, 24 (left), was apprehended in Hampton, Virginia, on Wednesday and arrested in connection with the December 21 fatal shooting of Kennedy Maxie, 7 (right), in Atlanta 

The shooting happened at Atlanta's Phipps Plaza, where there was an alleged argument in the parking lot. Kennedy and her family were not involved in the incident leading up to the shooting

The shooting happened at Atlanta's Phipps Plaza, where there was an alleged argument in the parking lot. Kennedy and her family were not involved in the incident leading up to the shooting


'Thanks to our Investigators, the Fugitive Team, the U.S. Marshals Office, & everyone that made this arrest possible. We look forward to seeing justice take its course,' police said in a tweet. 

Reed, a Virginia native, faces charges of felony murder, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and reckless conduct.

Investigators said the shooting stemmed from a fight between Reed and other men in a mall parking lot. 

When the argument ended, Reed left in a car, 'and in a senseless act of rage, discharged a firearm out that window,' Atlanta homicide detective Lt. Pete Malecki previously told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

At least three shots were fired, and one entered the Lexus Kennedy was riding in and struck her in the back of the head, Malecki said.

Reed faces charges of felony murder for allegedly firing the stray bullet that struck Kennedy in the back of the head, killing her

Reed faces charges of felony murder for allegedly firing the stray bullet that struck Kennedy in the back of the head, killing her 

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has come under scrutiny over the rising crime rate in the city. 

Last year marked the deadliest year the city has had in more than two decades. There were more than 150 homicides in the city in 2020. 

In response to criticism following Kennedy's killing, she said: 'If there are solutions that we have not explored and enacted, I welcome the suggestions, as I am always open to making the city that I am raising my children in a safer place for us all.'

She described Kennedy's death as a 'senseless murder.'

She added: 'While the Atlanta Police Department has significant leads in the apprehension of those responsible, it does not erase the pain felt when a beautiful, vibrant, and loving child is tragically taken from her family,' the mayor said. 

Reed is awaiting extradition back to Atlanta. His attorney, Steve Washington, asked the public to reserve judgment and allow the case, which he described as a 'total tragedy,' to play out in court. 

'We don’t have any facts or any evidence,' he told WAVY

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has come under fire following Kennedy's death and said she was 'open to suggestions' on how to curb the wave of violence in her city

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has come under fire following Kennedy's death and said she was 'open to suggestions' on how to curb the wave of violence in her city 

Reed's criminal history in Virginia includes a conviction for a charge of accessory after the fact in connection with a shooting at the MacArthur Center Mall in Norfolk last year that left two people wounded, reported Atlanta Journal Constitution

Reed was sentenced to 12 months in prison for that previous shooting, nine of which were suspended.   

The 24-year-old also has been in trouble with the law in Atlanta, where he was convicted on a forgery charge in 2018.   

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