WATCH: Funeral service for Gwinnett County Correctional Officer Scott Riner

Funeral service held for correctional officer Scott Riner killed in Gwinnett County
Published: Dec. 16, 2022 at 11:12 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2022 at 12:51 PM EST
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LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Family, friends, and co-workers of Gwinnett County Correctional Officer Scott Riner said their final goodbyes Tuesday.

Speaking on behalf of the family, during the service held at North Metro Baptist Church in Lawrenceville, Riner’s cousin, Kathy Tillman shared memories about her cousin saying, “If it is true that people can have a heart of gold, then Scott’s was 24 karats.”

“Scott Riner’s life was happy and full I believe because he made his whole life about service and giving,” Tillman added. “He knew how to have fun. It was as natural to him as it was to a child.”

Married to his wife for 22 years, Riner was not just a devoted husband but a father to two children and a grandfather to a little boy.

“Scott’s words really speak to his love for his family more than mine,” Tillman said before reading one of Riner’s social media posts. “Here’s what he said, ‘A hundred years from now, it won’t matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or truck I drove, the world will be a better place because I was important in the lives of my two kids.’ Scott said that. Madison, Taylor, and Elana, you were his world. You were his heart.”


Gwinnett County Senior Corrections Officer Scott Ozburn Riner, 59, of Winder, was gunned down in the parking lot of Gwinnett Corrections Center in Lawrenceville early Tuesday morning as he was arriving for work around 6:20 a.m.

He was well-respected and admired by his colleagues and inmates alike. One former inmate said he looked at Riner like a father figure. His colleague Captain Audrey Henderson said Riner always put a smile on his co-workers’ faces at work.

“Being in this environment, it’s a negative environment, and for someone to come in and be happy every day and make others laugh that means a lot,” said Henderson.

The man accused of killing Riner, 22-year-old Yahya Abdulkadir, was arrested in Lithonia Friday afternoon and is currently in jail facing felony murder and aggravated assault charges. He appeared before a judge on Sunday without a lawyer, so the court appointed him one. He is being held without bond at this time.

Gwinnett County Police say they are still trying to figure out the reason Riner was killed. They say the two men did not know each other.

Riner had worked at the Gwinnett Correctional Complex for more than a decade.

On Monday, his family and friends held a private celebration of life.