DOWNTOWN — Atlanta police say they have identified two suspects they believe were involved in the shooting death of a U.S. Army Reservist on Dec. 26 as he and two friends walked a bike trail in Kirkwood.
The department, which is getting help from the U.S. Marshals Service and the FBI, also is offering a $5,000 Crime Stoppers reward for any further information that leads to the arrests of all involved.
“We are actively investigating the case,” Atlanta Police Dept. Homicide Unit Capt. Paul Guerrucci said Friday night, during a news conference at police headquarters.
He added investigators have developed strong leads in the case.
“We want those individuals that were involved to clearly understand that we will put all of our available resources to finding these individuals and bring them to justice.”
Xavier Arnold, 21, was shot in the head in what police say is a robbery on the trail near the 200 block of Warren Street NE.
One of his friends walking with him was shot in the leg; a third companion on the walk with them was unharmed.
The three were walking on bike trail not too far from a Georgia Power Co. substation and the old Pratt Pullman Yards property when two men approached them in the incident, which occurred around 5:30 p.m.
The two shooting suspects got into a physical altercation with Arnold and the other man and then both were shot.
The two shooters fled.
The shooting is another sad marker in what has been a violent year in APD’s Zone 6, which recorded 15 homicides, so far this year. That’s about a 50 percent increase from last year.
While the biggest homicide cluster has been in the East Atlanta and Old Fourth Ward neighborhoods — six and five, respectively — Candler Park recorded a homicide, as did the Sweet Auburn and Little Points districts.
Neighborhood Planning Unit-O is holding a vigil Saturday, Dec. 28 at 5 p.m. to show support for Arnold's family at 241 Warren St.
Participants are also invited to wear or carry a large "X" in commemoration of Mr Arnold.
The family appreciates all the support offered and expressed to date.