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story.lead_photo.caption Gary Holmes, 33, of Little Rock. - Photo by Pulaski County sheriff's office

A Little Rock man suspected of fatally shooting a toddler during a traffic dispute in Little Rock this week surrendered Thursday to authorities, said Patrick Harris, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

The U.S. Marshals Service and Little Rock police arrested Gregory Holmes, 33, in the killing of 3-year-old Acen King, Harris said late Thursday. Holmes was being held in the Pulaski County jail on a charge of capital murder and two counts of terroristic threatening. The jail roster listed his first name as "Gary."

"Little Rock police got a warrant for Holmes, and they were looking for him and asked for the U.S. marshals' assistance," Harris said. "And between the U.S. marshals and [the Little Rock Police Department], Mr. Holmes turned himself in because he knew that they were looking for him."

Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner said late Thursday that Holmes was being interviewed by detectives. He could not immediately provide further information on the arrest.

"Right now this an evolving issue," Buckner said.

Holmes, who was reported to reside at 8200 Winterwood Drive in Little Rock, is accused of killing Acen in what police described as a fit of "road rage."

The child's grandmother, Kim Macon-King, 47, told police that she was waiting to turn west onto Mabelvale Cutoff Road from Warren Drive on Saturday when a black Chevrolet Impala pulled up behind her, according to a police report. The driver of the Impala honked, and she honked back.

Then the Impala driver, described as a black man, got out his car, approached Macon-King's vehicle and fired one shot.

Macon-King reportedly thought the man had fired into the air. She continued to drive about 10 miles to the Shackleford Crossing shopping center at 2618 S. Shackleford Road, where she had planned to meet family members to go shopping and drop off her grandson, according to police.

But when Macon-King parked at the shopping center about 6:22 p.m., she saw a bullet hole in her car and found her grandson slumped over the back seat, according to police.

Emergency medical personnel took the toddler to Arkansas Children's Hospital. He died from his injuries later that night.

Acen's death made headlines across the world and led church leaders, elected officials and community activists across Arkansas to call for the shooter to surrender to police. Little Rock and the FBI each offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the shooter's arrest.

Before Holmes was arrested Thursday, calls for the shooter to surrender continued.

"We want these perpetrators, we want them brought to justice," said Benny Johnson, founder of the Little Rock-based anti-violence group Arkansas Stop The Violence. "We want the city to band together. Put your arms around these families. But most importantly, we want to show support by bringing the ones who did these heinous crimes to justice."

Johnson was speaking not only of Acen but also of Rimiya Reed, a 2-year-old girl who was also fatally shot in Little Rock under similar circumstances Nov. 22. Rimiya was riding in the back seat of a car with her mother, Shunta Johnson, 37, when someone on South Harrison Street fired into the vehicle.

No arrests had been made in Rimiya's death late Thursday.

"If anyone knows anything, we ask you to turn them in because you're just as guilty as they are," said Walter Crockran of Arkansas Stop The Violence.

Rimiya's death was the 37th homicide of the year in Little Rock. Acen's was the 40th.

Buckner, the police chief, was among many who expressed pain and frustration over the killings.

He said he took little comfort that an arrest had been made in Acen's case.

"It makes me feel good about Little Rock that our community came together. It makes me feel good about folks providing information, and it makes me feel good that our police agency stayed on top of this and are able to give the family some kind of peace before they bury him. ...

"But I hate that we had to get to Acen King before we, as a community, came to together to hate and be disgusted by the loss of human life. Because there are 39 other killings in Little Rock this year, and the pain of those families is no less."

Information for this article was contributed by Austin Cannon of Arkansas Online.

Metro on 12/23/2016

Print Headline: LR man surrenders in shot fatal to 3-year-old in car


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