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Man who witnessed bike trail murder drowns

Kirkwood and East Lake

Man who witnessed bike trail murder drowns

X'avier Arnold was murdered on Dec. 26. A key witness to the crime drowned over the weekend. Photo from X'avier Arnold's Facebook page.

X’avier Arnold was murdered on Dec. 26. A key witness to the crime drowned over the weekend. Photo from X’avier Arnold’s Facebook page.

This story has been updated. 

A key witness in the murder of an Army reservist on a Kirkwood bike trail has drowned.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources confirmed that Ibrahim Sanusi, 22, was among four people in the metro area who drowned over the weekend. Three people drowned in Lake Lanier, and one drowned on the Chattahoochee River.

Sanusi lived in Stone Mountain was a friend of X’avier Arnold. Sanusi was with him on Dec. 26 when they were walking on a bike trail near the Pullman Yard. Two men allegedly tried to rob Arnold and his friends. Sanusi and another friend told police that the robbers fatally shot Arnold when he fought back. Sanusi was shot in the leg, but the injury wasn’t life threatening.

According to DNR, on June 8 Sanusi was swimming in the Chattahoochee near the Cobb-Fulton county line at a location called “Dive Rock.”

DNR Spokesman Mark McKinnon said “the male subject (Sanusi) entered the water allegedly to swim and did not resurface.” The Cobb County dive team recovered his body on Monday morning, June 9.

According to police reports, Sanusi’s 22 birthday was June 3.

It’s not clear how Sanusi’s death will affect the case against the two men charged with murdering his friend. On June 9 Qutravius Palmer and Zion Wainwright both entered “not guilty” pleas. In an earlier hearing, defense attorneys scrutinized a lack of physical evidence connecting their clients to the crime.

The Fulton County District Attorney’s office is handling the case, and hasn’t returned a message seeking comment about Sanusi’s death.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed the number of drownings in the metro area that occurred over the weekend. This story has been updated to reflect the correct information.