A security guard accused of a shooting spree in Atlanta may have been waiting for the woman he shot dead in a parking garage, police said Saturday. Two women who survived the attack were apparently sprayed at random as he raced from the scene, they said.
The suspect stole his first victim's Toyota Prius and shot the other women from inside the car as he drove out of the parking deck Friday, said Atlanta police Maj. Keith Meadows. Hours later, Nkosi Thandiwe called an attorney and turned himself in after he saw he had been identified by police.
Thandiwe waived an initial court appearance on Saturday at the Fulton County Jail. His attorney Rickey Richardson declined to comment on the case.
Thousands of professionals who work in the densely packed office towers of Atlanta's midtown district were headed to lunch on Friday when the gunfire broke out. Witnesses said they took cover when they heard popping sounds and later saw a woman face down on the concrete.
"I heard a pop, pop, pop," said Meredith Smith, who was leaving work when she heard the shots ring out. "It sounded like fireworks."
Police say the violence began when Thandiwe shot 26-year-old Brittney Watts in the neck on the third-floor of the parking deck outside the high-rise where he worked.
"He may have been waiting for his victim inside of the parking structure," said Meadows, who heads the city's major crimes division.
While he was fleeing the scene in Watts' car, authorities said, he sprayed the parking deck with bullets and wounded two women who worked at the MSL Group, a public relations firm. Authorities say 23-year-old intern Lauren Garcia and 24-year-old assistant account executive Tiffany Ferenczy were both in stable condition after being struck.
"We believe they might have been random victims," said Meadows. "He did flee the scene and he fired from the inside of the vehicle. There was no reason for him to actually fire upon those two victims."
Thandiwe worked for AlliedBarton Security Services, which said it was shocked that one of its employees was implicated in the shooting.
Company spokesman Alan Stein said Saturday Thandiwe had worked for the firm for less than year. He said AlliedBarton conducted a thorough background check that didn't reveal any prior crimes.