Carjacking near Lindbergh MARTA station: ‘All I saw was a gun’

12:55 p.m Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017 Atlanta News
Atlanta police detained a carjacking suspect outside the Lindbergh MARTA train station. (Credit: Rosalind Bentley / AJC)

One of two men allegedly involved in a rush-hour carjacking in Buckhead on Tuesday evening is now in jail.

Police are still searching for the second suspect.

The carjacking happened near the packed Lindbergh MARTA station, just a block away from MARTA headquarters as scores of people were trying to catch trains and buses.

The victim told Atlanta police officers that two men approached him while he was in his black, late-model Lexus SUV. 

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One of the two men pulled a gun on the victim.

“I opened the door and all I saw was a gun,” the man told police.

DanJeal Rayford (Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office)

Officers asked the victim what the men looked like, but the man could not give them a detailed description. 

“All I could see was the gun,” he said.

The man was apparently exiting one of the many parking ramps surrounding the MARTA station. Some of the ramps are part of sprawling apartment complexes adjacent to the station, near 500 Main Street. 

The victim got out of the car. The two men got in and sped off. They only got about a quarter of a mile away on Garson Drive near the entrance of Passion City Church, when the suspects crashed the SUV against a concrete wall along a curve.

Police said the men got out of the car and jumped onto MARTA train tracks leading into the Lindbergh station in an attempted get away. About that time, the northbound red-line train was pulling into the MARTA station.

MARTA officials stopped train service as police began searching the tracks for the men.

Passengers could not exit the train because police told them they thought one of the suspects might be hiding under the train. 

Passengers watched as officers searched the tracks outside. 

After allegedly wrecking the car, DanJeal Rayford, 20, jumped on the train tracks. He was soon caught by police and taken to the center of the Lindbergh station near the kiss-and-ride drop off. About a dozen police cars, two ambulances and two fire trucks were on the scene. As police handcuffed Rayford, some apartment dwellers pulled up chairs on their balconies and watched the commotion. 

The victim had been taken by police to the area where the carjacking occurred. 

By 6:20 p.m. police began evacuating riders from the  northbound train, walking them from car to car until they exited the lead car, which had already made it to the station before service was halted.

Meanwhile, officers searched the wrecked SUV for evidence.

Rayford was arrested on charges of hijacking a motor vehicle, armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, Atlanta police spokeswoman Lisa Bender told the AJC on Wednesday. 

The name and description of the man still at large have not been released. 

MARTA rail service resumed around 7 p.m. No one was injured in the carjacking or chase. 

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