Milton teen shot in driveway remembered as police announce arrests

Christopher Walker had been saving up for several months for the gold herringbone chain that police say led to his fatal shooting.

Not that it was very costly — around $70, his girlfriend said — but the 19-year-old always seemed to find someone else to spend his money on.

“He’d do something like get his mother flowers or buy something for his brother first,” said Franchesca Thomas, 21, who met Walker in a speech communications class at Georgia Perimeter College. “Chris always thought of other people before himself.”

The marketing major — and aspiring rapper — was shot March 12 in the driveway of his home on a Milton cul-de-sac after returning from a nearby Taco Bell. Police arrested three suspects early Thursday: Matthew Goins, 20, of Alpharetta, Michael Grant, 23, of Roswell, and Richard Davidson, 20, of Roswell.

They followed Walker to Silhouette Court after spotting his necklace, Milton police Sgt. Jason Griffin said. It was still light outside when Walker was shot, once in the head — a “random and brazen” crime unlike any seen in the seven years since Milton’s incorporation, Griffin said.

The victim’s mother, Mary Jo Walker, was on the phone when her son was gunned down outside. From her front stoop, she could see his body lying on the ground.

“His eyes were open, but I could see that he was dying,” she said.

Several neighbors witnessed the shooting, she said, and there had been concerns about possible retribution prior to the arrests.

“ ‘Violated’ is the best word I can use to describe it,” said Vinette Wilson, who lives just a few houses up the street in the Avensong subdivision. “I’ve always felt comfortable with kids going outside. Since this news, things have changed.”

The suspects are charged with murder, aggravated assault and attempted armed robbery. Davidson also faces a charge of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, Griffin said.

All three are being held without bond in the Fulton County Jail.

Goins’ attorney, Steve Sadow, said the evidence “shows nothing more than mere association and mere presence — legally insufficient to convict” his client.

Mary Jo Walker had few words for her son’s alleged killers, quoting her 17-year-old son, Ben: “Don’t try to justify evil.”

“As a human being, he had a profound understanding of the world around him and he was able to smile in spite of it,” Ben wrote in Christopher’s obituary.

Christopher Walker’s girlfriend of 1-1/2 years remembered him as “a gentleman.” She introduced herself after hearing him deliver his first speech in class.

“He was the quiet guy in the corner who never talked,” Thomas said. “That speech blew everyone away. There was a charisma about him that commanded everyone’s attention.”

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