Gaelen Newsom (Courtesy Fulton County Sheriff’s Department)

Atlanta Police have arrested Gaelen Newsom, 22, and charged him with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during a crime after a string of drive-by shooting incidents and hitting a pedestrian with his car in Buckhead on June 5.

Newsom allegedly shot a man out for a walk around 8:30 a.m. in the 1200 block of West Wesley Road on Saturday morning. The victim was wounded in the thigh. Shortly after this incident, two joggers in Buckhead said they were also shot at by someone driving a silver car.

At 11:30 a.m., police were called to the Collier Ridge Apartments on Noble Creek Drive and found a man pinned between a silver Kia Forte and a pickup truck. The victim was a resident of the complex who had been taking out his trash when he was struck by the Kia, which matched the description of the car in the drive-by shooting incidents. The victim struck by the car was in serious condition at Grady Hospital, according to reports.

Newsom was arrested at the scene and police also found shell casings in his car and determined he was the suspect in the earlier shootings.

The incidents prompted Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore to summon police Chief Rodney Bryant to appear before the body at its June 7 meeting at 1 p.m.

“Given the continued escalating violence, today I have called and made a written request to the Police Chief that he be present at Monday’s council meeting to share with the full council exactly what is being done to immediately reverse this trend.” Moore said in a statement on Saturday. ” During the meeting, I intend to share some of my ideas to see if they might support any ongoing efforts and will encourage my colleagues to do the same. This is an all hands on deck situation and I do not want to see this just become a political issue to talk about as part of the campaigns. People are dying and we need answers and actions.”

Atlanta has already recorded 60 homicides in 2021 after a record-breaking 157 in 2020. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has seated an anti-violence advisory council, while the city council approved the creation of a public safety commission to offer recommendations on curbing crime in the city.

The crime wave sweeping the city is likely to be the main topic of discussion at a June 8 candidate forum for hopefuls vying for mayor and city council sponsored by The Committee for a Better Atlanta.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.