Suspect in Gwinnett business shooting may be linked to fatal stabbing

Police shut down Satellite Boulevard on Friday afternoon while they searched for a shooting suspect.
Police shut down Satellite Boulevard on Friday afternoon while they searched for a shooting suspect.

Credit: NewsChopper 2

Credit: NewsChopper 2

Gwinnett County investigators believe a deadly shooting inside an office building Friday and a stabbing that killed a recent high school graduate could be linked to the same suspect: Joshua Thomas Brandt.

The two homicides happened in 11 days and two miles apart in the Suwanee area. Late Monday, 18-year-old Brandt had only been charged in connection to Friday’s homicide. No arrests had been made in a stabbing that killed William “Slade” Petty, also 18, Suwanee police said.

“Joshua Brandt is a person of interest, and he has been since the beginning,” Lt. Robert Thompson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Investigators have not released motives in either case.

When Gwinnett police identified Brandt as a suspect in the shooting, Suwanee detectives told the county officers about the separate investigation, Thompson said.

On Saturday, Brandt was arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault following a shooting inside an office near Suwanee, about two blocks from the city limits, according to police. Shortly after 2:20 p.m. Friday, Brandt is accused of entering Direct Technologies, Inc. in the 600 block of Satellite Boulevard, where he fired several shots.

Explore$10K reward offered for information on Suwanee teen’s stabbing death

According to his arrest warrant, Brandt shot James Allen Ross multiple times in the upper torso. Ross, 38, died from his injuries. Investigators said they believe Ross was targeted.

Brandt was at one time employed at the printing company, police said. The company did not respond to an emailed request seeking comment on the shooting.

“Brandt worked at the business at least as a temp worker, so we believe he had some type of affiliation with the victim at some point,” Gwinnett police Cpl. Collin Flynn told Channel 2 Action News.

Brandt, who lives in Gainesville, was being held without bond Monday at the Gwinnett jail, booking records show.

Friday’s shooting came less than two weeks after the city of Suwanee reported its first homicide since 2012.

On July 27, officers were called to the Residences at McGinnis Ferry shortly before 9 a.m., Thompson previously said. There, they found Petty dead from what appeared to be multiple stab wounds, Thompson said.

Slade Petty, 18, was found stabbed to death outside his Suwanee apartment, according to police.
Slade Petty, 18, was found stabbed to death outside his Suwanee apartment, according to police.

Credit: GoFundMe

Credit: GoFundMe

Petty was a recent graduate of North Gwinnett High School and lived at the complex, according to investigators. Police believe he was targeted and that he knew his attacker. Petty and Brandt were former classmates, Channel 2 reported.

Investigators were still seeking evidence in the case Monday, and tipsters were encouraged to come forward with information. There were no security cameras in the area where Petty was killed, Thompson said.

In addition to the Crime Stoppers Atlanta reward of $2,000, Petty’s family has contributed an additional $8,000, bringing the reward to $10,000, police said.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Suwanee detectives at 470-360-6735. To remain anonymous, tipsters can contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.stopcrimeATL.com.