Warrants issued for teens accused of killing Gwinnett dad while fleeing Walmart

Suwanee police are searching for two teenagers, Jafar Hunter Jr. (left) and Keytavuis Arice Lowam, accused of hitting and killing a Gwinnett father while fleeing a Walmart.
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Suwanee police are searching for two teenagers, Jafar Hunter Jr. (left) and Keytavuis Arice Lowam, accused of hitting and killing a Gwinnett father while fleeing a Walmart.

Credit: Suwanee Police Department

Arrest warrants have been issued for two teenagers accused of hitting and killing a father of two over the weekend while speeding away from a Gwinnett County Walmart in a U-Haul van.

Keytavuis Arice Lowam, 18, and Jafar Hunter Jr., 15, are wanted on murder and felony shoplifting charges in the death of 42-year-old Christian Gutierrez, Suwanee police said Friday. Gutierrez was walking into the store on Lawrenceville Suwanee Road with his wife, son and daughter when he was struck by the van in the parking lot and killed, according to Suwanee police spokesman Lt. Robert Thompson.

ExploreFather of 2 hit, killed by shoplifting suspects fleeing Suwanee Walmart, cops say

Shoppers told police they saw the teens fill two carts with expensive electronics about 9 p.m. Saturday before walking past Walmart’s cash registers toward the door. When a loss prevention officer confronted them, police said they ditched the merchandise, ran into the parking lot and drove away.

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Suwanee police are searching for two teens accused of hitting and killing a Gwinnett County father while fleeing a Walmart on Saturday night.

Credit: Suwanee Police Department

Suwanee police are searching for two teens accused of hitting and killing a Gwinnett County father while fleeing a Walmart on Saturday night.
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Suwanee police are searching for two teens accused of hitting and killing a Gwinnett County father while fleeing a Walmart on Saturday night.

Credit: Suwanee Police Department

Credit: Suwanee Police Department

Investigators said the fleeing U-Haul hit the Gwinnett father and dragged him about 100 yards onto Satellite Boulevard.

“They were there to go Christmas shopping for the family and this ended up happening,” Thompson told Channel 2 Action News.

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Christian Gutierrez

Credit: GoFundMe

Christian Gutierrez
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Christian Gutierrez

Credit: GoFundMe

Credit: GoFundMe

The van used in the fatal hit-and-run was later located and processed for evidence, but police have not said where the vehicle was found or which teen was driving it.

Lowam and Hunter both live in the Decatur area and are known to sell bottled water near the intersection of Memorial Drive and Columbia Drive, Thompson said, adding that investigators plan to charge the 15-year-old as an adult in the case.

Anyone who knows either teen’s whereabouts is asked to call the Gwinnett County sheriff’s fugitive tip line at 770-619-7838.

Gutierrez’s funeral service will be held Friday afternoon in Buford, according to his online obituary. A GoFundMe page set to up to help his family cover burial expenses has raised more than $27,000.

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Christian Gutierrez

Credit: Flanigan Funeral Home

Christian Gutierrez
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Christian Gutierrez

Credit: Flanigan Funeral Home

Credit: Flanigan Funeral Home

“He was the kindest, most decent person you could meet, full of love and compassion,” his cousin wrote on the fundraising page. “Chris would take any opportunity to help anyone in need. Last week alone, he stopped three times on the highway to help people stranded on the side in their cars. He was an amazing father, husband, son, brother, cousin and friend. A great human being.”

— Please return to AJC.com for updates.

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