A North Carolina man was arrested on suspicion of fatally shooting a 1-year-old boy who had just left a Christmas parade in Weldon.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, 22-year-old Malcolm “Macco” Artis was arrested Thursday in Lithia Springs, Georgia, and faces charges including first-degree murder.
North Carolina authorities believe he was the gunman whose bullet killed Jaxson Clay in a drive-by shooting just weeks before his second birthday.
The young boy was surrounded by family, including his parents, grandfather and younger sister, in their home at the time of the December 7 shooting, according to police. They had just finished observing the town’s holiday parade.
Clay was reportedly shot in the head. He was initially transported to an area hospital and from there was airlifted to another facility. By the end of the day, his extensive injuries proved fatal.
Weldon police investigators spoke to witnesses and solicited tips, ultimately identifying Artis as a suspect. They soon came to suspect he was no longer in town.
“Based on the investigation, it is believed that Artis fled to Georgia shortly after the incident,” a police statement read.
He was in Georgia when officers from multiple agencies located and arrested him in Lithia Springs.
According to reports, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputies were aided in the arrest by Atlanta police officers and FBI agents from the bureau’s Charlotte and Atlanta branches, among others.
Police have not announced a possible motive for the shooting as of the latest reports available.
According to WTVD, Artis will be extradited to Halifax County, North Carolina, to face multiple felony charges.
[Featured image: Malcolm Artis/Weldon Police Department]