Suspected shooter, victim in domestic dispute at Gwinnett apartment ID’d

One day after a woman was shot and killed in a domestic dispute at a Gwinnett County apartment, police are trying to piece together what led up to the deadly encounter.

Gwinnett police on Wednesday identified Cortez Lofton as the person who shot Jessica Criff early Tuesday at the Landmark at Bella Vista apartment off Satellite Boulevard.

However, Cpl. Michele Pihera said Lofton has not been charged with any crimes in connection with the incident, which occurred about 4:45 a.m.

“Immediately following the shooting, Cortez called 911 to report the incident,” Pihera said. “He remained at the scene awaiting the arrival of police and fire personnel.”

Criff, 27, of Duluth, was taken to a hospital, where she later died of her injuries. Lofton, 25, of Duluth, was taken to police headquarters to meet with investigators.

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“Cortez has been cooperative with the investigation,” Pihera said. “... The lead detective assigned to this case is still working to gather more information ... as well as the results from the autopsy.” 

The relationship between Criff and Lofton isn’t clear.

“What we know right now is there was some kind of altercation to where a firearm was produced and at least one shot was fired,” Cpl. Wilbert Rundles told on Tuesday. “We don’t know the exact number yet.”


Investigators are not looking for anyone else in connection with the woman’s killing.

“The two people that we believe were the sole parties in this situation are accounted for,” Rundles said.

Police said they responded to a call of shots fired at a Duluth apartment complex just before 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.

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