The 7-year-old girl critically wounded in an apparently random Buckhead shooting Dec. 21 has been identified as Kennedy Maxie, while a reward in the case has been boosted to $15,000.

Maxie was shot in the head while riding in a car as it passed the area of the Phipps Plaza mall at 3500 Peachtree Road.

Kennedy Maxie, 7, the victim of a Dec. 21 shooting in Buckhead, in an undated photo released by her family through the Atlanta Police Department.

Atlanta Police Department investigators previously said a group of males had a “dispute” in the mall’s parking lot at the time of the shooting. But investigators had not confirmed that the gunfire came from that incident. Investigators said they do not believe the shooter or shooters intended to hit the vehicle or Maxie, who is from Mableton, or had any connection with them.

Maxie remained in critical condition on Dec. 23, according to APD.

The shooting has crystallized community outrage and fear over a wave of gun violence in the neighborhood that led to the creation of a “Buckhead Security Plan” by government officials and private organizations.

The shooting led Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to decry gun violence. Buckhead-area City Councilmembers J.P. Matzigkeit and Howard Shook have expressed anger over the shooting and called on the administration to do more.

The Reporter usually does not identify juveniles who are victims of crimes, but is doing so in this case due to the will of the victim’s family. According to the Atlanta Police Department, Maxie’s family authorized her identification to the general public and circulated a photo of her “with hope that it will bring some attention to the case.”

A previously announced reward through Crime Stoppers of Greater Atlanta for the arrest and indictment of a suspect in the case has been raised from $10,000 to $15,000. The reward includes contributions from the local nonprofit Buckhead Coalition and Buckhead-based attorney Jackie Patterson.

Anyone with information about the shooting can contact APD Detective D. Agan at 404-546-4295 or contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477 or by visiting its website.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.