The man accused of firing a shot that killed a 6-month-old boy waived his first court appearance Wednesday morning.
Less than 24 hours after the drive-by shooting in northwest Atlanta, police investigators arrested 22-year-old Dequasie Johnathan Little and charged him with felony murder and aggravated assault. Mayor Andre Dickens announced the arrest Tuesday afternoon at police headquarters.
“Gun violence is out of control and we’re going to put an end to it here in Atlanta,” Dickens said during a news conference.
Grayson Matthew Fleming-Gray was shot shortly before 3 p.m. Monday while riding in a vehicle near the Food Mart corner store on Anderson Avenue. The child was not believed to be the intended target, police Chief Rodney Bryant said from the scene.
Bryant pledged that his detectives would work all night to find the person responsible. Earlier Tuesday, police released surveillance video of a vehicle believed involved in the shooting. Tips from the community helped investigators find Little in Decatur, Bryant said.
Little waived his first hearing Wednesday and will remain in the Fulton County jail without bond. His next court appearance has not been scheduled.
Dickens praised the quick work of Atlanta officers. Bryant said it was a team effort between his officers, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Georgia State Patrol and neighboring agencies.
“I won’t cheerlead the fact that we were able to apprehend this person in such a short period of time,” Bryant said Tuesday. “I’m mad as hell that the incident occurred in the first place.”
Bryant said investigators feel confident they have located the shooter. But the investigation is not over, he said.
“It is such a tragedy when we lose any citizen of this city,” the chief said. “But when it’s a child, it pulls even more at the heartstrings, not just of the men and women of the Atlanta Police Department, but throughout the community.”
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The baby’s death was the 12th homicide investigation of the year for Atlanta police. It was the second deadly shooting of the year involving babies.
Last week, a child was grazed by a bullet in the 1800 block of Campbellton Road but survived after police said two drivers began shooting at each other. One of the stray bullets pierced the back seat of the vehicle in which the child was riding and glanced off the 5-year-old’s back, police said. The child was taken to a hospital, and two people were arrested at the scene.
Also last week, an Atlanta mother was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the Jan. 12 shooting of her 1-year-old daughter. That child, whose name was not released, was critically injured when another child in a Harwell Road home found an unsecured gun and fired it, according to Atlanta police. The 1-year-old was shot once and rushed to a hospital, where she died three days later. Amaiya Dachanel Williams, 21, was booked into the Fulton County Jail.
Little, the suspect in the 6-month-old’s shooting, has a criminal record that dates to 2018, when he was accused of aggravated assault, according to jail and court records. Little was arrested in January 2019 and released less than two months later on $20,000 bond, records show. At the time, Little had pending charges in Houston and Peach counties.
In April 2019, he was returned to the Fulton jail and then back to Houston County, booking records show. Last year, Little was arrested in September in connection with the same case, which remains open.
Anyone with information on the latest shooting is asked to come forward. Tipsters can remain anonymous, and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000, by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.