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Police ID 9-month-old shot to death out of retaliation in crime spree in DeKalb

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Police on Monday identified a 9-month-old infant who was shot to death in a bloody crime spree that has claimed the lives of two others and wounded three more in DeKalb County.

So far, one teen has been arrested and police were searching for two more in connection with a May 3 shooting that they believe set off the tragedy that left little Kendarious Edwards dead and his mother and grandmother in the hospital, according to DeKalb County police.

At least one suspect was involved in a standoff late Monday in southwest Atlanta, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. Agents were attempting to arrest the suspect at a hotel on Forrest Hills Drive, off Cleveland Avenue, where at least two people barricaded themselves inside a room, Gavin Duffy, USMS spokesman, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The three suspects were wanted in the May 3 shooting of 29-year-old Michael Phillips who was killed at a party at an apartment complex at 1401 North Hairston Road, police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said.

Investigators believe 19-year-old Alexis Malone witnessed the shooting. But it’s unclear if she reported anything to police before her body was found along the roadway on Agape Way around 6 p.m. Saturday. Parish said the teen had been shot to death.

Now detectives are looking into the possibility that friends or associates of Malone sought retaliation by committing the home invasion that led the baby’s death, Parish said.

Shortly before 11 p.m., two or three masked gunmen kicked in the door of the home on To Lami Farm Road and shot the infant as well as his mother, grandmother and a female friend of the family, Parish said. The gunmen were looking for the suspects in
Malone’s murder when they forced their way into the home and confronted the terrified women, police said.

One of women reportedly grabbed the baby and all three ran upstairs where they tried to lock themselves into a bathroom, according to media report. But the gunmen kicked it in and fired at them multiple times.

The victims’ names were not released, but police said the women are 36, 23, and 21. The 21-year-old is thought to be the baby’s mother.

The home invasion happened about five hours after authorities got an anonymous call about Malone’s body being found in DeKalb.

The three suspects in the May 3 shooting are also the suspects in Malone’s murder, but police have not yet issued charges against the three in her death, Parish said.

One of the suspects, 18-year-old Kemontay Cullins, was arrested Sunday, Parish said. Investigators are still looking to arrest Cutrez Johnson, 16, also known as “Lil Red,” and Oslushla Smith, 19, also known as Budda or Boo, police said.

Police said Johnson and Smith either lived in the home or “had connections” in the neighborhood where the baby lived off Redan Road in south DeKalb.

It's unclear which of the suspect was involved in the stand-off Monday and news media said hostages were also being held in the hotel even as federal and county officers surrounded the building.

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