Around 11:30 a.m. Oct. 18, officers were called to the InTown Suites Extended Stay on Barrett Creek Parkway near Town Center at Cobb, according to Cobb police spokeswoman Officer Shenise Barner. There, they found a woman, later identified as 30-year-old Belton, dead at the scene.
Investigators believe Belton was killed by an “edged weapon,” police said the following day. The relationship between the victim and suspect was not released, but address records show Gatling lived at the hotel. Police said the crime was an act of domestic violence.
APD’s Zone 6 Bike Team Arrest Murder/Aggravated Assault Suspect on Pathway-Wanted Out of Cobb County
On October 27, 2021, at approximately 10:27 a.m. the Cobb County Police Department Major Crimes Unit sent a request for the Atlanta Police Department to share a Be on The Lookout (BOLO) for a Murder/Aggravated Assault suspect who they believed was in the Zone 6 area. The BOLO was sent out to all APD staff. Zone 6 Bike Team members recalled seeing the suspect previously around the pathway area near the King Center. No time to wait for SWAT or Fugitive, the officers jumped on their bikes and rode to the general area where they believe they last saw the man, and in an almost serendipitous encounter, there he was.
The three bike officers surrounded the suspect, compared the BOLO picture, and took him into custody without incident. The capture time was around 10:54 a.m. What we know for sure is…APD officers stay ready to ANSWER the CALL!
We are extremely proud of these officers’ awareness of their patrol areas and their keen ability to remember faces. We applaud the superb police work of the Zone 6 Bike Team and the other officers involved in this arrest. Getting this dangerous suspect off the streets allows us all to rest easier tonight.
This confirms the effectiveness of utilizing law enforcement partnerships combined with solid police work. Together, our crime fighting reach is longer and we are stronger. #APDProud #WeCatchBadGuysPosted by City of Atlanta Police Department on Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Cobb police then issued a lookout alert to other law enforcement agencies to help find Gatling. To some Atlanta officers, Gatling was a familiar face, the agency said.
“The BOLO was sent out to all APD staff. Zone 6 Bike Team members recalled seeing the suspect previously around the pathway area near the King Center,” Atlanta police said. “No time to wait for SWAT or Fugitive, the officers jumped on their bikes and rode to the general area where they believe they last saw the man, and in an almost serendipitous encounter, there he was.”
Three officers surrounded Gatling, who was taken into custody without incident. On Thursday, he was being held at the Cobb jail.
The funeral for Belton is planned for Saturday in Lancaster, South Carolina, according to her online obituary. She is survived by two children, according to police. After her death, investigators confirmed both children are safe with relatives out of state and neither was in the room when Belton was killed, Barner said.
— Staff writer Chelsea Prince contributed to this article.