Titus Norwood (left) was arrested in Washington state Wednesday and charged in the 2002 shooting death of 30-year-old Weldon Mills (right). Gwinnett police decided to revisit the cold case last year, authorities said. 
Photo: Gwinnett County Police Department
Photo: Gwinnett County Police Department

After 17 years, police make arrest in Gwinnett cold case homicide

More than 17 years after a Gwinnett County man was found shot to death in the parking lot of a Norcross apartment complex, police have made an arrest in the case. 

The body of 30-year-old Weldon Mills was discovered in the Hampton Woods apartments with a gunshot wound to the back of the neck on Sept. 20, 2002, Gwinnett police spokeswoman Cpl. Michele Pihera said. 

According to the initial police report, a resident of the apartment complex was playing outside with her son about 10:30 p.m. when she heard a “loud pop.” She ran to the front of her building, where she saw Mills’ body lying on the pavement. 

The case was assigned to the department’s homicide unit at the time, but no suspects were ever charged. Police believed the shooting may have been drug-related.

In 2019, authorities decided to revisit the case, traveling to several states to interview potential witnesses, many of whom had never been questioned. 

As a result of those interviews, detectives developed enough probable cause to charge 43-year-old Titus Norwood with felony murder and aggravated assault, Pihera said Thursday in a news release.

But because of Norwood’s “transient lifestyle,” investigators struggled to locate him. That all changed Wednesday when he was arrested by police in Lacey, Washington, authorities said.

He will be extradited to Gwinnett to face charges. 

“The arrest in this case illustrates the successful partnership between the Gwinnett County police Cold Case Unit and the District Attorney’s Office,” Gwinnett’s assistant police chief J.D. McClure said in a statement. “We will continue to devote our time and resources toward solving cold cases. Additionally, we hope that this arrest brings some degree of closure to the family of Mr. Mills.”

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