Henri Hollis and Caroline Silva
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
ATLANTA — A woman suspected in a triple shooting that left two people dead and one injured in the heart of Midtown Atlanta was arrested Monday afternoon at the Atlanta airport.
The woman, who was not identified, was taken into custody a little more than two hours after shots were first fired at the 1280 West condominium building on West Peachtree Street, not far from Colony Square, Atlanta police said.
During a news conference after the arrest, police said the shooting was “not random” and the victims were specifically targeted. Officials did not say what motive led the suspect to shoot three people, but WSB-TV reported that the woman lived in the building. It remained locked down at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, the news station reported.
The first shooting happened around 1:45 p.m. inside the management office, authorities said. Responding officers found one victim dead and another injured at the scene.
As police investigated, officers were called to a second shooting nearby at 1100 Peachtree Street, authorities said. At that scene, officers found a third person injured.
One of the two injured victims later died, but police did not say which person it was. Authorities also did not provide information about the surviving victim.
Investigators linked both shootings to the same woman, police said. The last shots were fired around 2:15 p.m.
As police searched for the shooter, security offices at several Midtown towers used their resources to help with the manhunt, interim police Chief Darrin Schierbaum said at the news conference. Midtown’s network of security cameras helped track the woman as she fled the scene, Schierbaum said.
She was located in the international terminal of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport around 4 p.m. and taken into custody without incident. Mayor Andre Dickens said the woman was arrested before going through security and entering a restricted area of the airport. Police did not say how the woman got to the airport from Midtown.
The weapon used in the shooting was recovered at the airport, Schierbaum said.
The Midtown Neighbors Association earlier posted a photo of the suspect on social media showing the woman wearing jeans and a long-sleeved shirt with horizontal black and white stripes.
Just after 4 p.m., Brian Moote, a morning show host on Atlanta radio station 94.9 The Bull, posted a photo from the airport showing a woman wearing a black and white striped shirt surrounded by heavily armed law enforcement officers. Officials have not confirmed if the woman in Moote’s photo is the suspected shooter.
Photos and video from the Midtown area showed a heavy police presence around Colony Square at Peachtree and 14th streets for most of the afternoon. Those busy streets were reopened to traffic around 4 p.m.
Looking down on Colony Square and a sea of police vehicles, Jaylen Green was confused when the active shooter alarm went off in the building where he works. For nearly 10 minutes, he wasn’t sure if the shooter was inside his building or on the street.
”We didn’t understand that what was happening outside was different from what was happening in the building,” Green told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We assumed there was an active shooter in our building.”
Eventually, Green said his building went on lockdown and he saw someone being taken away in an ambulance near Colony Square.
Tori Alexas, who works within Colony Square, said she was startled when the alarm in her building went off and several police vehicles began crowding the streets below her.
”Around 2 o’clock the sirens started going off and then they slowly started blocking off the road,” she said. “Just a lot of SWAT presence.”
It wasn’t until two hours later that the lockdown in her building was lifted. Alexas said she is upset that gunfire happened so close to her.
”I don’t want to have this fear of leaving work and having to look out for a shooter now,” she said.
Taquandra Alexander just moved to the city and stumbled upon the crime scene while heading to a restaurant nearby to apply for a cook position.
”I’ve never been this close to an active shooter,” she said. “It can really happen anywhere at this point.”
Police credited several other agencies for the robust response.
“We are grateful for the assistance of our public safety partners who assisted in this situation,” Atlanta police said. “Specifically, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, Fulton County Marshal’s Office, MARTA police, GSU PD, Georgia Tech Police Department, the ATF, AFRD and Grady EMS.”
Schierbaum also thanked the Free Chapel in Midtown, which he said opened its doors to police and served as a temporary command center as law enforcement officers across several agencies swarmed the area.
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