Cobb Police would not release the name of the accused killer, but an arrest warrant obtained by MDJ identifies the suspect as Jaydon Lee Reid, 14, of Marietta.
Police say the teen fatally shot Terrance Banks, 23, and Sterling Hargrave, 21, at the county-owned Wild Horse Creek Park, 3820 Macedonia Drive in southwest Cobb, which neighbors Tapp Middle School.
The bodies of Banks and Hargrave were found after officers were dispatched at about 7:17 p.m. Sunday in response to a 911 call reporting shots fired in the area of the park.
Reid was charged Monday morning with eight felonies, including two counts of murder, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of armed robbery and two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. He also faces a felony marijuana possession charge and a misdemeanor obstruction charge for allegedly running after spotting a Cobb police officer and refusing to stop on command.
According to the warrant, Reid robbed Hargrave and Banks of cash and marijuana at gunpoint using a 9 mm pistol during a “drug transaction.” Reid was found with 7.7 ounces of marijuana when he was arrested, the warrant stated.
Reid is being held at the Marietta Regional Youth Detention Center and has been charged as an adult.
Facebook profiles for both Banks and Hargrave listed them as former students of McEachern High School in Powder Springs. Banks was also listed as a student in the class of 2011 at Chattahoochee Technical College studying automotive technology.
A spike in crime recently at park
Annette Everett lives near Wild Horse Creek Park and joined her husband, Frank Everett, for a walk with their poodle, Precious, at the empty park on a rainy Monday afternoon.
“We didn’t realize there was so much going on,” Annette Everett said.
She said the neighborhood had always seemed quiet but seems to have had a spike in property crimes and drug activity recently.
“It seems like the police here are never around,” Annette Everett said. “I think the police could do a better job of keeping an eye on the park.”
The park contains ball fields, tennis courts and an equestrian course.
“It’s a shame we can’t use it because everyone is getting scared of it,” Frank Everett said.
Still, some residents say the neighborhood is mostly quiet.
Josephine Ricketts, 84, has lived across the street from the tennis courts at Wild Horse Creek Park for the last 25 years, and said she usually feels safe in her home.
“It’s nice. I enjoy it,” Ricketts said. “I watch them play tennis sometimes.”
‘Very scary’ for nearby residents
Marjorie Sanchez also said she has never had a reason to believe the community is unsafe, but she was nervous after being told a double homicide had taken place across the street from the home she has lived in for the last two years with her 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son.
“It’s very scary because we live here and we don’t know what happens outside,” Sanchez said.
The deaths mark the second and third homicides in Cobb this year. The first took place when Jerry Moore, 46, was found stabbed to death in his home in January. In 2013, 30 homicides were reported in Cobb.