A Decatur, Georgia, man with a promising future fell victim to the gun violence affecting metro Atlanta’s Black community. Daniel Gordon, 24, was shot and killed on the job while working at an an auto repair shop.
“I don’t understand. He saw him in uniform,” John Claude Edwards, Gordon’s coworker told news station WSB.
On Dec. 31 around 1:30 in the afternoon, Gordon was working at Tires Plus. He was checking the brakes on a Kia Forte and attempted to test drive the vehicle to complete the brake tests.
The car’s owner, Quadarius McDowell, 30, saw his vehicle in motion and took off running toward his car after Gordon got into the driver’s seat. Upon approaching the vehicle, police say McDowell fired multiple gunshots piercing the driver’s side window.
McDowell shot at his car because he thought it was being stolen, according to police.
After the shooting, McDowell took off, trying to run away, but was quickly arrested by police. Police recovered a Glock 45 9mm handgun upon apprehending McDowell.
Gordon succumbed to his gunshot wounds at the hospital roughly 30 minutes later.
“We shouldn’t have to go through this. It’s just a test drive for him to get killed, a young brother,” Edwards said.
Gordon is the latest in a slew of young Black men killed by firearms in the metro area. Atlanta NAACP President Gerald Griggs believes more should be done at the state Capitol to address gun access.
“There needs to be a conversation at the Gold Dome about legislation that limits the access to weapons. I understand people have their Second Amendment rights, but I also understand people have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Griggs said.
Georgia’s gun laws have faced criticism in part because of its Constitutional Carry Law. Last year, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, signed Senate Bill 319. The law makes it legal for Georgia gun owners to carry a concealed firearm in public without a state issued gun license. Opponents of the bill claimed it would make cities more dangerous.
“We need to take emotion out of it for a minute and deal with the policy that has given rise to these deaths. The policy is constitutional carry allowing guns everywhere,” Griggs said.
McDowell was charged with malice murder and is currently in the DeKalb County Jail. A judge denied his bond on Jan. 2.
Gordon was a graduate of Fort Valley State University where he earned a degree in criminal justice.
“Praying for the family of FVSU alumni Daniel Gordon,” fellow alumni, Pamela Jones wrote in a Facebook post.
Gordon’s longtime girlfriend, Amari Bowden, is struggling with the loss.
“He was so vibrant and charming. This isn’t what he deserved,” Bowden told local station WXIA.
“Daniel was super sweet, super charming. He loved everyone that came in contact with him. His presence filled the room with joy,” Bowden added.
“We all loved him and just can’t make sense of this tragedy. He did nothing wrong while working and was shot in the head by someone he didn’t even know,” Bowden’s mother, Jamita Vortice-Bowden wrote on a Facebook post.
The owner of Tires Plus, Bridgestone Retail Operations, said in a statement to WXIA, “Daniel was a valued member of our organization who had been with us for eight months. He will be deeply missed.”
“It’s awful in the sense of losing somebody you knew,” Gordon’s friend Andrea Davis told WXIA.
“We go to our jobs every day, and we think we do it to make a living to survive. Somehow, he went to work that day, and it was the opposite. It’s really messed up,” Davis added.
Gordon’s funeral is scheduled for Jan. 14.