Bond denied Va. man charged in fatal shooting of 7-year-old girl

Suspect identified in murder of 7-year-old Kennedy Maxie near Phipps Plaza
Suspect identified in murder of 7-year-old Kennedy Maxie near Phipps Plaza

A Virginia man accused of fatally shooting a 7-year-old girl near a Buckhead mall over the Christmas holidays was denied bond Tuesday.

Daquan Reed, 24, was taken into custody Jan. 6 by U.S. marshals in Hampton, Virginia, following a weeklong manhunt. The shooting of Kennedy Maxie, a student at Sedalia Park Elementary School in Cobb County, was a heartbreaking coda to what ended up being Atlanta’s deadliest year in decades.

ExploreLatest loss from Atlanta's rise in deadly violence: A 7-year-old girl

Reed’s attorney, Kayla Bumpus, said her client did not intend to shoot Kennedy, who was riding in the backseat of a Lexus with her mother and aunt when a stray bullet entered through the trunk and into the back of the little girl’s head.

ExploreAtlanta’s deadliest year in decades has city on edge and demanding change

Kennedy was taken to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite, where she died five days later.

“We’ll never be able to put into words what was stolen from us,” said Mariah Maxie in a statement asking the judge to deny bond. “A beautiful sweet little girl who never made it home from Christmas shopping.”

“No one deserves to say goodbye to their baby at Christmas,” Maxie wrote.

ExploreSuspect in Kennedy Maxie's death extradited to Fulton Co. jail

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Belinda Edwards agreed with prosecutor Pat Dutcher that Reed is a flight risk who poses a danger to the community. He faces charges of felony murder, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and reckless conduct.

Bumpus had asked that Reed be placed under 24-hour home confinement. She said other inmates in the Fulton County Jail know who he is, and her client fears for his safety.

“I don’t believe he fled the scene knowing this little girl was hurt,” Bumpus said. Reed, she said, was preparing to turn himself in when he was arrested.

That contradicts the prosecution’s account. Dutcher said Reed attempted to evade law enforcement in Virginia and, when finally apprehended, had to be forcibly removed from his vehicle after failing to comply with commands.

Reed had been gambling in the parking lot at Phipps Plaza on Dec. 21, the night Kennedy was shot, Dutcher said.

“He essentially just fired his firearm outside the rear passenger window out of anger and frustration over just what happened,” said the prosecutor. “He knowingly endangered the lives of many citizens.”

Police traced that vehicle to North Carolina. The car’s owner revealed Reed was in Virginia, Dutcher said.

Kennedy’s aunt told detectives she heard the gunfire while driving along Peachtree Road but didn’t immediately realize her niece has been struck.

The Phipps incident marked the second time Reed had been involved in a mall shooting, according to authorities. In October 2019, a 56-year-old woman was shot following a confrontation between Reed and another man at a Norfolk, Virginia, shopping center, Dutcher said.

Reed pleaded guilty to a count of accessory after the fact. Prior to the shootings, he had been in and out of jail, charged with offenses ranging from forgery to strangulation, Dutcher said.

In Other News