Boy, 14, arrested for killing soldier on Kirkwood bike trail

Boy, 14, arrested for killing soldier on Kirkwood bike trail

Posted: Updated:
Xavier Arnold's father shared this picture of him in his military uniform. Xavier Arnold's father shared this picture of him in his military uniform.
Xavier Arnold's gave us this picture of his son with his friends. Xavier Arnold's gave us this picture of his son with his friends.
A popular and powerful sight around the Kirkwood neighborhood are these "X" signs. A popular and powerful sight around the Kirkwood neighborhood are these "X" signs.
Residents gathered for a vigil on Friday night for the slain soldier. Residents gathered for a vigil on Friday night for the slain soldier.
Police responded to the deadly robbery attempt on Thursday. Police responded to the deadly robbery attempt on Thursday.
ATLANTA, Ga. -

Police say they have arrested a juvenile in connection to the shooting death of U.S. Army soldier Xavier Arnold. Arnold's friend was also injured during the shooting prompted by what police believe was a robbery attempt on a bike trail in the Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta.

Police say 21-year-old Xavier Arnold died at Grady Memorial Hospital from the gunshot wound he received to his head while walking with his girlfriend and a friend along the trail in the 200 block of Warren Street in northeast Atlanta around 5:30 p.m. Thursday. His friend was also shot in the leg, but his girlfriend was uninjured.

Atlanta police say the 14-year-old boy will be charged with murder and a count of armed robbery. His name is not being released at this time due to his age.

"He's a child. He doesn't even understand how he's impacted our family. He doesn't understand how he's impacted our community. He doesn't understand how he's impacted our family, our friends It's so large," said James Arnold, the victim's father.

Xavier Arnold's father spoke out about the senseless violence that claimed the life of his son at a second vigil in as many days held in the Kirkwood neighborhood.

"He had no money on him. He had a cell phone that was broke," said Arnold. "It's time to stop. It's time to galvanize ourselves. It's time to 'X' out crime. We've gotta stop this type of stuff."

The "X" has been a powerful rallying point since Thursday's incident. Residents said in a vigil held on Friday that it is not just to honor the fallen soldier, but to serve as a reminder that violent crime will not be tolerated in their community.

"I'm going to get an 'X' and put it on my lawn, because I feel like, it's just the right thing to do," said Kirkwood resident Lori McDaniel.

"This is so senseless. It's just incredible. We've had just some really bad things happening in our neighborhood in the last couple of months," said Kirkwood resident Benno Rothschild.

Residents at Friday's vigil said they have seen an increase in violent crime in the Kirkwood neighborhood over the past few years and are now calling upon officials to help them step up patrols. Meanwhile, residents say they will be stepping up their own security systems.

"We are going to push to have cameras installed especially in the park areas.  So that people can feel safe walking in our neighborhood," said McDaniel.

Police are trying to determine if there were any more suspects involved in Thursday's deadly robbery attempt. They are asking anyone with further information to contact Atlanta Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS.

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