Lenox the site of latest shooting at metro Atlanta shopping centers

At least 25 shots were fired and one man was injured Thursday at Southlake Mall.
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At least 25 shots were fired and one man was injured Thursday at Southlake Mall.

Some of metro Atlanta’s busiest retail spots have become crime scenes. Most recently, a shooting was reported late Sunday at Lenox Square.

Investigators believe two 15-year-olds attempted to rob a mall security guard before shooting him, leaving him critically injured. The teenagers were apprehended a short time later and were charged in connection to the incident.

Lenox, in the heart of Buckhead, has been the site of numerous shooting incidents during the past two years. The Atlanta Police Department has a mini-precinct inside the mall, which has increased security in recent months. Arrests have been made in most of the shootings, including March 2020 gunfire that killed a Tennessee man.

But violence has also erupted at other metro malls.

On Thursday afternoon, a verbal altercation between two groups inside Southlake Mall in Morrow, moving to the parking lot before erupting in gunfire and sending one man to the hospital, police said.

And in May, Cobb County’s Town Center was evacuated while officers investigated an armed robbery and shooting at a jewelry store.

A look at past shopping center violence:

Atlanta police are investigating after a fight inside Lenox Square escalated into a shooting that sent a man to the hospital. Credit: Channel 2 Action News
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Atlanta police are investigating after a fight inside Lenox Square escalated into a shooting that sent a man to the hospital. Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Jan. 18, 2020: An APD sergeant was alerted to an armed robbery in progress outside the Lenox food court. The sergeant responded and discovered one man holding another at gunpoint and ordered the armed man to drop the weapon. When he refused, the sergeant fired shots, striking the man, Atlanta Police Deputy Chief Jeff Glazier said at the time.

The GBI investigated and determined the robbery “victim” had himself been involved in a crime. Two men were arrested and charged within hours, according to the GBI.

Feb. 10, 2020: A man in his late 40s went to the Lenox mall’s food court “to conduct some type of transaction,” according to an Atlanta police incident report. When the victim and suspect went to the parking lot, they met with a friend of the victim’s near a vehicle.

ExplorePolice increasing patrols at Lenox Square after latest shooting

The victim, who was shot near his ribs, was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in stable condition. Two suspects were later charged in the case. Shakeria King, 21, was arrested Feb. 20 in Dublin and in March, the Georgia State Patrol arrested Tyreese Brown, 23, in Monroe County.

March 8, 2020: A dispute over a parking space ended in gunfire in the Lenox parking lot, near the entrance to The Cheesecake Factory.

“The victim and suspects separated and entered the mall, but later the victim and suspects returned to the parking lot and the dispute continued,” Officer Steve Avery said in an emailed statement after the shooting.

That’s when one suspect pulled out a gun and shot Thuan Nguyen, 31, in the head. Nguyen, who lived in Tennessee, died at the scene.

Four days after the incident, Ricky James Lafargue was charged with Nguyen’s murder. But he eluded capture until November when he was arrested in New York.

Oct. 16: A man being robbed at the cash register inside Neiman Marcus at Lenox Square pulled a gun and fired shots, according to Atlanta police.

Then, the man helped identify two of the people who tried to rob him, according to Officer TaSheena Brown. That’s when investigators realized the robbery victim was wanted for a prior crime.

Three people, including the alleged victim, were arrested and charged after the incident.

Shots were fired Friday afternoon inside the Neiman Marcus store at Lenox Square, according to Atlanta police.
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Shots were fired Friday afternoon inside the Neiman Marcus store at Lenox Square, according to Atlanta police.

Credit: NewsChopper 2

Credit: NewsChopper 2

Nov. 20: Investigators believe a fight inside the newly opened Apple store inside Lenox Square escalated to gunfire, sending one man to the hospital.

Officers responded to a person shot call and found a man with a gunshot wound to his buttocks inside the store around 3 p.m. The store had just opened after relocating from another location within the mall.

Bullets from the shooting went as far as shattering the window of a MARTA bus stop across the shopping plaza’s parking lot. Investigators are searching for suspects.

Nov. 28: A massive brawl broke out at Atlantic Station, where about 300 teens were gathered near the bowling alley. When officers tried to disperse the clusters of teens, several “became defiant and more disorderly, engaging in more fistfights,” the Atlanta police report said.

One teen was beaten and punched until he lost consciousness, police confirmed. When he fell to the ground, another teen repeatedly stomped on his head, the report said.

A 15-year-old who police identified as the primary aggressor was detained and charged with aggravated assault. He was not named due to his age.

Dec. 5: Shoppers reported hearing a gunshot inside the Neiman Marcus store at Lenox Square around 6 p.m., according to Atlanta police. Investigators now say the incident was an accident and they don’t believe anyone was struck.

It was initially believed there may have been a dispute that led to the shooting. But police later said a man was walking through the store and adjusting his pants when the firearm he had in his waistband discharged, according to Sgt. John Chafee. No one was injured by the bullet.

Dec. 19: A fight between two women led to a shooting at Arbor Place mall, Douglasville police said. Nobody was struck by the gunfire, but at least one person was injured after falling while running away, Douglasville police Maj. J.R. Davidson said. No one was in custody hours after the incident.

Kennedy Maxie
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Kennedy Maxie

Dec. 21: Kennedy Maxie had been shopping with her mother and aunt and was riding in the car in near Phipps Plaza when she was shot. The 7-year-old died five days later. Kennedy’s aunt told detectives she heard the gunfire while driving along Peachtree Road near Phipps. Moments later, she realized Kennedy had been struck and drove straight to the hospital, where the little girl was rushed into surgery. In January, a Virginia man was arrested and charged with Kennedy’s murder.

March 23: A shootout between two cars in a parking lot outside of Cumberland Mall and resulted in four people being injured, including a 6-year-old. Three teenagers who were involved in the exchange of gunfire were also injured and later arrested, police said.

Karanji Reese, 18, Jokava Harris, 19, and Desean Powell, 19, are all facing drug and weapons charges. Harris is also facing one count of reckless conduct after police said he fired a gun in the parking lot.

May 1: Investigators believe an argument escalated to gunfire at a southeast Atlanta shopping plaza Saturday night. Three teenagers were shot, killing a 15-year-old girl, police said.

Around 10 p.m., a 911 caller reported that the three had been shot near a Waffle House at the Glenwood Park shopping plaza. The other teens who were shot were stable when they were taken to a hospital, but the 15-year-old, Diamond Johnson, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

May 6: Cobb County police were called to Town Center mall about 3:20 p.m. After an initial investigation, Cobb police determined a jewelry store was robbed by three masked suspects, who fled the scene before officers arrived.

Shots were fired inside the mall, backing up what several witnesses said they heard. A store employee suffered a non-life-threatening injury after being shot, police confirmed.

The robbery crew made off with $350,000 worth of Rolex watches, according to an arrest warrant for one of the suspects.

Atlanta police responded to a shooting around 4 p.m. at Atlantic Station.
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Atlanta police responded to a shooting around 4 p.m. at Atlantic Station.

Credit: NewsChopper 2

Credit: NewsChopper 2

May 17: Atlanta police were investigating a shooting that left a man injured near Atlantic Station.

Officers responded to a shooting call just before 4 p.m. near Dillard’s at the mixed-use development in Midtown, police said in a news release.

At the scene, officers found a man suffering from a gunshot wound. The man, who was conscious, was taken to the hospital. Atlanta police did not release his name.

A Mercedes-Benz SUV that was involved in the incident had a huge hole in the driver’s-side window and what appeared to be a bullet hole in the front windshield, Channel 2 Action News reported. A Toyota RAV-4 just a few feet away was also damaged, but it wasn’t clear if that was caused by gunfire or a crash.

June 8: Two men were shot after an argument inside Greenbriar Mall spilled into the parking lot, Atlanta police said.

The victims told police the gunman first confronted them inside the southwest Atlanta mall before following them to their vehicle and firing multiple shots. Both were found with a single gunshot wound when officers responded shortly after 5 p.m.

The men were stable when they were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, according to the police department.

June 10: A verbal altercation between two groups inside Southlake Mall in Morrow boiled over into the parking lot before erupting in gunfire and sending one man to the hospital, police said.

Seven people were detained after more than two dozen shots were fired outside of Macy’s just before 2:30 p.m., Morrow police spokesman Detective Eli Skelton told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

A 28-year-old man was hit in the inner thigh and was taken to the hospital. Three people were treated on scene for anxiety attacks and released, Skelton said.

Later that evening, Cody Wilson, a 19-year-old from Paulding County, was arrested and faces a felony weapons charge related to the incident.

June 13: Investigators believe two teenagers attempted to rob a Lenox Square security guard and then shot him, leaving him critically injured, Atlanta police said.

On Monday, the guard was recovering from his injuries. The two 15-year-old suspects were in custody at a youth detention center, according to police.

The suspects, whose names were not released, were arrested and charged with criminal attempt to commit murder, according to Atlanta police. The teenagers, a boy and a girl, are also facing charges of armed robbery, aggravated assault, tampering with evidence and weapons offenses.