Alleged burglar found shot to death in Buckhead shopping center

A man found dead at a Buckhead shopping center was shot after trying to break into a nearby business, Atlanta police said.

Investigators found the man lying outside a car at the Bennett Street Shopping Center near the intersection of Peachtree Road and Bennett Street around 8:30 a.m. Monday. He was wearing a black hoodie, gray sweatpants and black gloves.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office identified him as 29-year-old Mohamed Akel. They do not believe he was from the Atlanta area.

Investigators initially suspected Akel was involved in a series of car break-ins that happened Sunday night, police said. Officers were alerted to look out for a white Dodge Challenger or Charger with three people inside, and Akel loosely fit the description, Maj. Michael O’Connor said.

“However, as the investigation progressed, investigators located video evidence and witnesses and learned the incident appears to be the result of the deceased male attempting to break into a nearby business” while armed, police spokesman Sgt. John Chafee said.

When the man entered the business, a patron inside shot him, according to police.

Investigators said it looks like Akel returned to his car after he was shot and tried to leave the scene. The Dodge crashed into a small deck behind a business, and he fell outside the car.

It was still running when officers found it, and O’Connor said it appears it was in drive for some time because of all the shredded tire rubber at the scene. Someone must have put it in park by the time the sun came up and the body was spotted in the parking lot, he said.

A firearm was also recovered from the Dodge.

Chafee said the shooter initially left the scene but later came back and spoke with investigators. No charges are anticipated at this time, he said.

Crime scene tape blocks off the parking lot to a row of businesses in the Bennett Street Shopping Center where a man was found dead Monday morning. 

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