A double shooting in the southbound lanes of I-85 in Midtown early Wednesday left one man dead and wreaked havoc on the morning commute.

The fatal shooting brought traffic to a standstill about 5:15 a.m. just north of the Brookwood interchange. All lanes were shut down for about four hours as police investigated, prompting massive delays in Midtown, Buckhead and all through the northern suburbs, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.

Drivers stuck behind the closure sat still for more than two hours before authorities began turning cars around. Backups stretched all the way to the Ga. 400 merge at the height of the morning commute.

Credit: John Spink

Credit: John Spink

An off-duty Jonesboro police officer discovered a dark-colored sedan near the entrance to I-75 North about 5:15 a.m. and found two men with gunshot wounds inside, Atlanta police Capt. Jason Smith said at the scene. One man was pronounced dead. The other was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital and survived his injuries.

The officer initially thought he had come across a wreck, but quickly called for backup and tried to help the victims, Smith said.

It wasn’t immediately clear Wednesday where the shots were fired from. Detectives are still working to piece together what prompted the fatal shooting and identify a suspect. Smith said detectives are trying to interview the surviving victim to find out exactly what happened.

“This does not appear to be a random act,” he told reporters. “It appears to be a dispute that had escalated.”

All lanes reopened about 9:15 a.m. when police finally cleared the crime scene.



“We always hate when we have to do that,” Smith said when asked about shutting down the interstate. “Unfortunately, we have to make sure that we process the crime scene appropriately, and it does take time.”

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