A 17-year-old has been arrested for allegedly shooting a toddler in southeast Atlanta, police said Monday. Meanwhile, the 1-year-old boy is in danger of losing his arm and will undergo a second surgery, his family said.
Investigators believe Rodrickus Robinson was caught in the crossfire when a group of men started shooting at each other Saturday night at Forest Cove Apartments on New Town Circle. Early Monday, Levar Antwan Reed was arrested in connection with the shooting, Officer Kim Jones with Atlanta police said.
Reed claimed he was being recruited by a gang and was only defending himself when he fired at people in a parking lot of the southeast Atlanta apartment complex, striking the boy in his left arm, Jones said during a Monday news conference.
Police arrested Reed after receiving a ‘plethora’ of tips from witnesses at the apartment complex, Jones said.
“When he declined to join the gang, one of the recruiters allegedly pulled a gun on him,” Jones said. He said he ran to some nearby bushes where he had stashed a gun for his own protection, Jones added.
There was an exchange of gunfire. Jones said police don’t know who fired first or how many bullets were exchanged. Jones said police are still looking for other suspects. She did not know how many.
Reed was charged with aggravated assault, aggravated battery, reckless conduct, minor in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and pointing a pistol at another. He was booked into the Fulton County jail. Reed waived his first appearance Monday afternoon. His next court date is Nov. 10.
Late Saturday, Rodrickus was taken to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, where surgeons removed the bullet from his arm, the boy’s family told Channel 2 Action News. Courtney Holt said the bullet hit an artery and her son lost some feeling and movement.
“They were not able to get a strong pulse from him from his right side,” Holt said. “It’s a weak pulse and he’s clotting from the top.”
The boy remains in stable condition, Jones said Monday. “There were concerns that he might lose his arm, “so far he has not,” she added.
Rodrickus, whose nickname is Junior, was leaving a birthday party with his grandmother when he was shot. His grandmother, Keesha Jordan, told Channel 2 she saw a man with a gun running shortly before Junior was shot.
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