24 DeKalb homicides from 2016 are unsolved. Here are the victims.

Stephenson High student Rakwon Reid died in a spray of bullets in his front yard.

He’d just turned 17.

“You read about it. You hear about it. But there’s nothing like going through it yourself,” his grandfather, Willie Hagler, said afterward.

Nearly 11 months later, the case remains unsolved. So do 23 other DeKalb homicides from 2016, a bloody year when county police struggled with a short-staffed homicide unit and an increase in killings, with a number of them involving gangs.

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The county police worked 81 unjustified homicides in 2016, versus 70 in 2015. The rate of resolved cases also dropped from 82 percent in 2015 to about 70 percent.

Cedric Alexander, DeKalb’s public safety director, has conceded that the loss of seven detectives from the unit of 20 could’ve contributed to the increase in unsolved cases. But he sang the praises of the investigators left, calling them “probably some of the best homicide investigators in the country.”

On Wednesday the county released a list of all unsolved homicides from 2016 to the AJC in response to an open records request.

DeKalb police accept tips, which can be anonymous, through Crime Stoppers Atlanta tip line at 404-577-TIPS (8477), online at www.crimestoppersatlanta.org or by texting CSA and the tip to CRIMES (274637). 

The victims were:

  • Jan 20: Tarrezz Fortson, 20
  • Jan. 23: Gregory Williams, 42
  • Feb. 3: Quantavious Zachary, 27
  • March 3: Rakwon Reid, 17
  • March 29: Marcus Thompson, 21
  • April 2: Roderick Newberry, 33
  • April 27: Joshua Sims, 33
  • May 15: Ayak Deng-Kuac, 28
  • May 29: Isiah Harper, 16
  • June 1: Ben Wood, 19
  • June 2: Derrick Shields, 25
  • June 11: Iveano Brisett, 30
  • June 11: Anthony Williams, 20
  • June 15: Joel Pierre, 43
  • June 23: Dontenary Newell, 35
  • June 26: Patrick Patterson, 23
  • July 19: Gabriel Swain, 18
  • July 21: Charles Anderson, 21
  • July 24: Journey Jones, 19
  • Aug. 5: Rosgime Bogel, 32
  • Sept. 28: Anthony Johnson, 27
  • Nov. 18: Melvin Cleveland, 74
  • Nov. 24: Carlos Agilar, 34

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