Kennedy Maxie, the 7-year-old victim of an apparently random shooting in Buckhead, died Dec. 27, according to the Atlanta Police Department.

“Our collective hearts are broken,” said a written statement from APD. “On behalf of the entire APD family, we extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Kennedy.”

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.

Maxie, a Mableton resident, shot in the head Dec. 21 while riding in a car as it passed the area of the Phipps Plaza mall at 3500 Peachtree Road. APD 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. APD says investigators believe the car and Maxie were not the intended targets of the shot.

The killing comes amid a wave of gun violence in Buckhead and citywide that partly led officials and local organizations to create a new “Buckhead Security Plan.” The plan calls for beefing up private security patrols, video camera systems and other APD tactics.

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. Matzigkeit, Shook and Councilmember Matt Westmoreland recently announced a $125,000 donation to the “Buckhead Security Plan” effort.

“These shootings and the increase in violent acts are being committed by those who have no regard for life and no desire to protect the innocent,” said APD’s statement. “When children get caught in the crossfire, all of us should care. All of us should be angry, and everyone should do whatever it takes to help solve the case, and any case where someone has died senselessly.”

Crime Stoppers of Greater Atlanta continues to offer a $15,000 reward for the arrest and indictment of a suspect in the case. 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.