A 23-year-old man was shot and killed at a Buckhead shopping center Friday morning, the third deadly shooting in the area since October.
Friends took the man, who was not named, to Piedmont Hospital, where he later died, Atlanta police spokeswoman Lt. Andrea Webster said. He had been shot in the back and the left leg.
Officers were sent around 3 a.m. to investigate the gunfire at the Bennett Street Shopping Center, which is located off Bennett Street and Peachtree Road. Just last month, police investigated another deadly shooting at the same business complex.
Mohamed Akel, 29, was found dead June 17 in a wrecked car in the parking lot. He was shot by a patron after attempting to break into a business and crashed into a small deck while trying to get away, according to Atlanta police. Detectives believe that shooting was justified, and the shooter was never charged.
“We’ll clearly need to look at what we can do to help out over here,” Webster said. “It has been an issue for us over the last year. This is, I think, the second murder that’s happened over here and then we did have one fatal shooting that was a justified killing several weeks ago.”
In October, an innocent bystander was killed at the Buckhead Loft at Level V when an argument spilled into the parking lot and gunfire erupted.
Investigators are trying to determine if Friday’s deadly shooting originated in the same nightclub, which faces Tula Street. While few details have been released, Webster said they believe two groups were involved.
“We believe that there was a dispute between two groups of people who were in this parking lot,” Webster said. “We don’t know where they were before the argument broke out, but it looks like there were at least two shooters or two groups of shooters shooting at each other.”
Police do not have descriptions of the suspects at this time.
“Because it’s still early, we haven’t had all the business owners come to work yet,” Webster said. “Once they get here, we’ll be asking for their video surveillance footage and hopefully we can ascertain some sort of description from that.”
Police are also trying to track down additional witnesses to the shooting. The friends who took the victim to the hospital were not cooperating with investigators Friday morning.
— Please return to AJC.com for updates.
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