Sgt. Ating Eminue was killed Aug. 30, 2015 after he gave a homeless man a pair of shoes and some cash, police say.
Photo: Channel 2 Action News
Photo: Channel 2 Action News

Trial starts in death of Gwinnett soldier shot while helping homeless

The trial is underway for a man accused of killing an Army sergeant who had just given away money and shoes to a homeless man in Atlanta.

The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office announced that the trial — in which  21-year-old Harold Dodson will face charges including felony murder, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and participation in street gang activity — began Monday.

Police believe that on Aug. 30, 2015, 24-year-old Ating Eminue was near a club about at 1:40 a.m. when he gave a homeless man a pair of shoes and some cash. Dodson is said to have criticized Eminue’s actions. 

A witness said that as Eminue approached Dodson, and Dodson shot and killed him.

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Police arrived at the storied Peachtree-Pine homeless shelter to find Eminue dead, with two gunshot wounds to his torso and one to his left arm. A bystander was also wounded with a gunshot to her leg.

Eminue, of Lawrenceville, served three tours in Afghanistan and had a 4-year-old son. 

Eminue and his family came to the United States from Nigeria 15 years ago for a better life, Channel 2 Actions News reported in 2015. Eminue “had shoes and stuff that he was giving because he always does that,” a family friend told the station.

The shelter, located at 477 Peachtree Street, is run by the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless.

Superior Court Judge Shawn Ellen LaGrua is presiding over the trial. If convicted, Dodson could receive life plus 60 years in prison.

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Soldier killed trying to help homeless downtown, family says

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