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Police link SW Atlanta SWAT standoff to DeKalb baby’s slaying

May 12, 2014

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Police continue looking for the suspects who killed a 9-month-old and critically wounded three others Saturday night in a DeKalb County home invasion.

But the people believed involved in two homicides that led to the home invasion as retaliation have been arrested.

Brothers Oshlushla Smith, 19, and Crutez Johnson, 16, were taken into custody after an 8-hour SWAT standoff Monday night. A third suspect, 20-year-old Kalya Dixon, turned herself in Monday night.

Investigators believe the alleged action of these three led masked men to a DeKalb home on To Lani Farm Road where the assailants shot the brothers’ mother, sister and a family friend, and ultimately killed their infant nephew, Kendarius Edwards, police said.

The string of violence began on May 3, when Michael Phillips, 29, was fatally shot at a house party.

A week later, Alexis Malone was found dead. Police believe she was a witness who knew about Phillips’ slaying.

Police initially identified Dixon as a “person of interest” in Malone’s death, but later charged her with felony murder, authorities said.

Another teen, 18-year-old Kemontay Cullins, has been charged in the May 3 shooting, and was arrested Sunday.

Investigators say Smith and Johnson are linked to Malone’s death, but have not charged them, police said.

It is unclear if and how Cullins and Dixon are related to Smith and Johnson.

DeKalb public safety director Cedric Alexander as early as Sunday called the brutality and brazenness of the spree insane.

The brothers were cornered by police and U.S. Marshals SWAT teams Monday afternoon in a hotel room at the Travel Inn on Forrest Hills Drive in southwest Atlanta.

Around 10:45 p.m., after hours of negotiations, SWAT teams rushed into the hotel room, where Johnson and Smith were holed up with one of their girlfriends and her 5-year-old son.

One of the teens was injured during the police breach and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Smith, Cullins and Dixon are being held without bond at the DeKalb County jail. It is unclear where Johnson is being held.

Police continue to investigate the To Lani Farm Road shooting.

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