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A suspect has been arrested in the death of a high school football coach who was gunned down at a Georgia gas station in the middle of the afternoon while trying to put air in his tires.
David Jarrad Booker, 20, has been arrested in connection with the death of Bradley Coleman, who was killed around 12:30 p.m. on July 10 at a QuikTrip in Gwinnett County.
Gwinnett County Police Sgt. Jennifer Richter told Oxygen.com that Coleman, a beloved high school football coach, had stopped at the gas station to put air in his tires when another vehicle pulled up.
A man police believe to be Booker got out of the vehicle and attempted to steal Coleman’s vehicle, but the 29-year-old father fought back.
“There was a fight that ensued and then Mr. Coleman was shot in the head and killed,” Richter said.
Booker allegedly fled the scene shortly after, but Richter said police were later able to link him to the vehicle used to pull off the crime with the help of surveillance footage from the gas station and witness accounts.
Booker was taken into custody Wednesday after homicide detectives worked “around the clock” to find the suspect, according to a statement from authorities.
“Every case that we investigate is important to make an arrest, but this was priority number one since the day that the case came to us,” Richter told Oxygen.com. “Any incident that makes our residents feel unsafe to live and work in our county, we take that very seriously.”
Coleman, who leaves behind a young daughter, was remembered at a community vigil on Sunday as a beloved coach, business owner, father and son, according to WXIA-TV.
“Bradley always stood out as a young, quiet man, a purposeful young man and loved by all,” said Penny Poole, who had known Coleman since he was 9-years-old. “That is not just a casual statement. That is truth beyond measure.”
Poole’s son had played sports with Coleman growing up. She said those who knew the talented basketball and football player turned coach are still struggling with the loss.
“My heart just broke,” she said of learning of his death.
John Lewis, Coleman’s youth football coach, described the 29-year-old's death as a “sad situation.”
“He was humble. He loved his daughter. He loved his community. He loved kids. He loved coaching kids,” Lewis said. “He was just a great kid and a great role model for kids.”
After high school, Coleman went on to play football at Southern University before he began coaching for a new generation of players.
Reid Sanders, who played with Coleman at Southern University, told WAGA-TV he had visited with his former teammate not long before his death.
“If I would’ve known I wouldn’t have a chance to talk to him again, I would have told him how much I loved him,” he said. “He was just one of the most genuine guys, nice people. Always a smile on his face.”
The Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office has promised “vigorous prosecution” of the Booker’s case, according to authorities.
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