A pedestrian shot, another hit by car, a suspect detained after Buckhead crime spree

‘We need answers and action,’ City Council President Felicia Moore says
The bizarre crime spree began Saturday morning when a driver opened fire on a group of pedestrians in Buckhead, police said.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

The bizarre crime spree began Saturday morning when a driver opened fire on a group of pedestrians in Buckhead, police said.

A man out walking in Buckhead on Saturday morning was shot, another man taking out the trash was hit by a car hours later and a suspect police believe was responsible for those and other crimes had been detained later in the day.

Gaelen Newsom, 22, faces one count of attempted murder, three counts of aggravated assault and two counts of possession of a firearm during a crime in the incidents, Atlanta police said.

The violence began about 8:30 a.m. in the 1200 block of West Wesley Road. A man was out for a morning walk when someone in a silver car drove by and began firing, striking him in the thigh, according to police.

The victim, who appeared to be in his early 40s, was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, officers said. A short time later, police received calls from two other joggers who reported that someone shot at them as well, Atlanta police Deputy Chief Charles Hampton Jr. told reporters. No one was struck in that incident.

Police asked nearby residents for surveillance footage or cellphone video as they searched for the suspect. Nearly three hours later, a man was severely injured after being struck by a car at the Collier Ridge Apartments.

Police responded to the complex along Noble Creek Drive about 11:30 a.m. and found the injured man pinned between a silver sedan and an unoccupied pickup truck. The victim, who is in his early 20s, had been hit while taking out the trash, authorities said. He was taken to the hospital and rushed into surgery.

At the scene, police detained the driver of a silver Kia Forte similar to the one described in the earlier incidents, Hampton said. The driver was later identified as Newsom.

Officers found multiple shell casings inside Newsom’s car and determined he was likely responsible for the drive-by shootings.

City Council President Felicia Moore issued a statement following the Saturday incidents and others. A fatal shooting at a downtown apartment complex the other day marked Atlanta’s 60th homicide case of the year. Following a historically deadly 2020, homicides are up more than 60% from this time last year.

“Given the continued escalating violence, today I have called and made a written request to the police chief that he be present at Monday’s council meeting to share with the full council exactly what is being done to immediately reverse this trend,” Moore said. “During the meeting, I intend to share some of my ideas to see if they might support any ongoing efforts and will encourage my colleagues to do the same. This is an all-hands-on-deck situation and I do not want to see this just become a political issue to talk about as part of any of the campaigns. People are dying and we need answers and action.”

Moore is running to succeed Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who has said she will not seek a second term. Following another recent spate of violence that left a 15-year-old shot to death, Bottoms announced she was forming a committee to provide feedback on “what more we can possibly do” to combat crime.