A suspect has been charged in the Arkansas road rage death of a 3-year-old boy last weekend.
Acen King was riding in the backseat of his grandmother’s car Saturday night during a Christmas shopping trip when a man shot into the vehicle because it “wasn’t moving fast enough,” Little Rock police Lt. Steve McClanahan said after the shooting. Acen was struck in the back and died later of his injuries at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
Little Rock resident Gary Holmes, 33, surrendered to police Thursday night and is being held without bond on preliminary charges of one count of capital murder and two counts of committing terroristic acts, NBC reported.
Holmes’ girlfriend told police that he became angry when he thought the car driven by Acen’s grandmother, Kim King-Macon, was following him too closely, according to an affidavit obtained by THV-11 TV. He let her car pass him. When the two vehicles pulled up to a stop sign, King-Macon’s car waited for a “few minutes,” and an impatient Holmes “honked at it,” the girlfriend said.
Then Holmes got out of his vehicle and fired once into the other car, she said. When he returned to his car, he said, “That’s what you get for following me around,” according to the affidavit.
In a 911 call released by the police, King-Macon said that she was waiting at the stop sign when “the guy blew a horn at me and I blew it back, and he shot, but I thought it was in the air. He shot at the car!” She only realized a short time later that Acen had been hit when she noticed him slumped in the back of the car.
“Acen has been shot, oh my God!” the anguished grandmother screamed to the 911 dispatcher.
The city of Little Rock and the FBI had offered a $40,000 reward for information in the case.
Holmes was previously arrested for aggravated battery and robbery in 2002 and domestic battery in 2013, according to records obtained by KARK-TV.
Acen’s death was the second time a toddler was killed in an apparent road-rage incident in Little Rock in a month. On Nov. 22, a 2-year-old girl was shot multiple times while sitting in the backseat of her aunt’s car, KTHV reported at the time.
“As you can probably understand, that is very, very frustrating to our police agency as it should be to our community,” the city’s police chief, Kenton Buckner, said at a press conference after Acen’s shooting. “That case is still open.”
Language has been added to clarify the two cars’ movements just before Gary Holmes allegedly shot into Kim King-Macon’s vehicle.