A man shot in the head on a Kirkwood bike trail yesterday has died, according to Atlanta Police. The victim has been identified as Xavier Arnold, 21. This evening, Atlanta Police announced that the reward for information in Arnold’s shooting had been increased to $5,000 and they were being aided by US Marshals to find the two assailants. Our media affiliate CBS Atlanta has video on this story at this link.
Edgewood Corner Tavern owner Melanie Rabb said Arnold had started working there in early December and described him as friendly and always smiling. Rabb said the young man studied art at the Savannah College of Art & Design and was taking photographs of the old depot and buildings along the railroad tracks where The Hunger Games movies were filmed. She said he always had a drawing pad with him. The Atlanta Journal-Consittuion reports that Arnold also served in the U.S. Army Reserves.
“This could have been any of us out enjoying a beautiful sunset like the one yesterday,” Rabb said. “This was a senseless act. I am so sad and angry.”
Atlanta Police said Arnold, another male friend and a female friend were walking on the bike trail that runs parallel to the train tracks near Warren Street NE in the Kirkwood neighborhood around 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 26. The trio were approached by two other males in a robbery attempt. Arnold was shot in the head and later died at Grady Hospital, while the other male was shot in the leg and is recovering at Grady. The female was not injured.
Friday afternoon, City Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong, who represents the Kirkwood neighborhood, released this statement: “I am truly saddened to hear of the senseless killing of young U.S. Army soldier Xavier Arnold who was shot while walking along a bike path in Kirkwood Thursday night. It is especially heartbreaking when a person who has sought to defend this country is gunned down at home. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. The Atlanta Police Department is actively investigating the incident and is working to locate the two male suspects. I urge anyone who may have information to contact Atlanta police.”
Anyone with information about the shooting should contact Crime Stoppers at (404) 577-TIPS (8477).
Check back for more updates.