Police arrest man accused of killing Gwinnett correctional officer

Investigators have charged 22-year-old Yahya Abdulkadir (right) with murder in the death of Senior Correctional Officer Scott Riner.

Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department

Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department

Investigators have charged 22-year-old Yahya Abdulkadir (right) with murder in the death of Senior Correctional Officer Scott Riner.

A 22-year-old man has been arrested and charged in the murder of a Gwinnett County correctional officer, police said Friday afternoon.

Yahya Abdulkadir of Dacula was charged with felony murder and aggravated assault in the death of Scott Riner, Gwinnett police said. Abdulkadir was apprehended at 1:30 p.m. Friday in Lithonia.

No details were released about a possible motive.

“We really may never know,” Sgt. Jennifer Richter with Gwinnett police told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Riner, 59, was shot and killed Tuesday morning in the parking lot of the Gwinnett County Comprehensive Correctional Complex as he arrived 40 minutes early for his 7 a.m. shift, according to investigators. His body was found lying near his vehicle.

“The Gwinnett Police Homicide Unit has been working this case around the clock since early Tuesday when the incident occurred,” police said in a statement. “Through diligent investigative work, detectives were able to identify Abdulkadir as the suspect in this case. He was arrested without incident in the area of 6984 Main Street in Lithonia.”

The U.S. Marshals Service, ATF, Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office and the Gwinnett District Attorney’s Office assisted in the investigation. An arrest warrant was secured for Abdulkadir on Thursday, court records show.

Riner’s family was informed of the arrest, Richter said. Abdulkadir was expected to be booked into the Gwinnett jail late Friday.

After the shooting, investigators shared surveillance images of the suspect in the parking lot where Riner was killed. Richter previously said no one witnessed the shooting at the complex, which is next door to police headquarters and houses minimum-security state and county inmates sentenced to full-time incarceration.

Abdulkadir has one prior arrest in Gwinnett, jail and court records show. In July 2018, he was arrested on misdemeanor drug charges. A clerk for the Gwinnett magistrate court said Friday those charges were later dropped.

The funeral for Riner will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at North Metro Baptist Church in Lawrenceville.

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