Cellist, 26, is shot to death in his car

The principal cellist of the Augusta Symphony Orchestra was shot to death early Sunday in an east Augusta neighborhood, police said.

 

David Reader, 26, was found dead in the driver's seat of his 1998 Toyota Camry about 12:05 a.m. with two gunshots to the chest, said Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Brandon Beckman.

Mr. Reader was pronounced dead at the scene, said Richmond County Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen. An autopsy is scheduled this morning in Augusta, he said.

The car's motor was still running when it was found at East Augusta Commons in the 400 block of East Boundary, said Investigator Beckman.

The victim's cello was still inside the car, he said.

Jonathan Aceto, an Augusta Symphony official and violinist, said Mr. Reader had just completed his first season with the group and was considered a very talented cellist.

Mr. Reader's final symphony performance was an outdoor Saturday night show at University Hospital's Evans campus.

"David was an outstanding young man, and a superb musician, and a sensitive and intelligent human being," said Sandra Self, the executive director of the symphony.

.Reach Timothy Cox at (706) 823-3217 or tim.cox@augustachronicle.com.