More details emerge about man accused of taking 6 guns into Atlanta Publix

Rico Marley is accused of walking into a Publix at Atlantic Station armed with two long guns and four pistols. He remains at the Fulton County Jail without bond after waiving his first appearance hearing.
Rico Marley is accused of walking into a Publix at Atlantic Station armed with two long guns and four pistols. He remains at the Fulton County Jail without bond after waiving his first appearance hearing.

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

22-year-old facing 11 felonies after Atlantic Station arrest, will remain in jail after waiving hearing

A 22-year-old accused of taking six guns and body armor into a busy Atlanta grocery store will remain in jail after waiving his first appearance hearing Thursday.

Rico Abednego Neequaye Marley faces 11 felonies after authorities said he walked into the Atlantic Station Publix on Wednesday afternoon armed to the teeth. He was arrested after a shopper spotted him with a rifle in the men’s restroom about 1:30 p.m. and alerted the store’s employees, Atlanta police said.

According to an incident report, Instacart shopper Charles Russell entered the restroom and heard “clicking sounds” coming from a bathroom stall.

“It sounded to him like someone was loading firearms,” the officer wrote in the report. “He also told me that he saw an AR-15 style rifle leaned against the wall. He rushed out of the restroom and notified the Publix staff.”

ExploreMan took 6 guns, body armor into Publix at Atlantic Station, cops say

Staff members called in security and the grocery store appeared to be evacuated by the time police arrived at the scene.

According to the incident report, an officer parked a short distance from the store before grabbing a ballistic helmet and a police rifle and going inside. Officers took Marley into custody as he left the bathroom and discovered six guns in his possession, authorities said.

“As I was walking through the left front door and entered the store, the accused was coming around the corner from the restroom from a few feet away from me,” the officer wrote, adding that Marley appeared surprised when he realized police were closing in on him with their guns drawn. “I immediately ordered the accused to put his hands up and don’t move, to which he complied.”

The weapons seized included an AR-15, a 12-gauge shotgun, four handguns and several magazines. All six guns were loaded and had rounds in the chambers, authorities said. The handguns — three semi-automatic pistols and a chrome revolver — were concealed on his person, according to police. The long guns were found inside a bag.

Russell, the witness who spotted Marley in the bathroom, told Channel 2 Action News the man was wearing a white T-shirt and black pants. At the time of his arrest, however, the Atlanta man was wearing body armor, police said. A ski mask was also recovered at the scene.

Police said the man took a rifle, a shotgun, four handguns and several magazines inside the Atlantic Station Publix.
Police said the man took a rifle, a shotgun, four handguns and several magazines inside the Atlantic Station Publix.

Credit: Atlanta Police Department

Credit: Atlanta Police Department

The seized items were turned over to members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives task force, which responded to the grocery store, according to the incident report.

Investigators have not said why Marley had so many guns inside the Publix or what he planned to do with them. Wednesday’s arrest came just two days after a gunman opened fire inside a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket, killing 10 people, including store employees, shoppers and a police officer.

Atlanta police declined to answer questions about a possible motive Thursday or release the officers’ body camera footage, citing the ongoing investigation.

Marley faces 11 charges, including five counts of criminal attempt to commit a felony and six counts of possessing a weapon during the commission of or attempt to commit certain felonies. He will remain held at the Fulton County Jail without bond until his next court appearance, which has yet to be scheduled, authorities said.

Jail records show Marley was arrested by Chamblee police on a simple assault charge in January 2018. The incident was domestic related and court records indicate Marley threw a bowl of food at a relative’s head during an argument, Channel 2 reported. He was arrested again four months later on a theft by receiving stolen property charge in DeKalb County, court records show. It wasn’t immediately clear what happened with those charges, but he does not appear to have any open court cases, according to his Fulton County pretrial report.

Several streets inside Atlantic Station were shut down Wednesday afternoon as police investigated a “suspicious package” that was found in the parking garage after Marley’s arrest. Authorities later determined the bag contained clothes and other miscellaneous items and said it posed no threat.

— Please return to AJC.com for updates.

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