Man shot multiple times leaving Atlanta seafood joint shielded friends, family says

Police released surveillance photos of this man, who they said is a suspect in the shooting outside JJ Fish and Chicken.

Police released surveillance photos of this man, who they said is a suspect in the shooting outside JJ Fish and Chicken.

A man was shot multiple times as he left a popular southwest Atlanta seafood restaurant Sunday night in what police said appears to be an unprovoked attack.

The victim, who identified himself as Brandon Nicolas Clark, stopped for a late-night meal at JJ Fish and Chicken on Pryor Road, according to Atlanta police. He was ambushed just before 11 p.m. as he returned to his car with his fiancée and cousin.

Clark told a man produced a handgun and started shooting, hitting Clark multiple times. He drove to the Texaco station at the corner of Pryor Road and University Avenue, where his fiancée called for help.

Clark was alert when he was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta police spokesman Officer Jarius Daugherty said.

Since then, Clark’s aunt Linda McKinnie said he has undergone multiple surgeries. Part of his intestines were removed along with a bullet in his abdomen, but a bullet lodged in his chest may never come out as doctors say it’s too risky. Multiple shots to his right hand shattered his thumb.

Clark was unarmed, but McKinnie said at nearly 7 feet tall, he thought he could take on the gunmen.

“When he sensed the danger, he went into defense mode and he grabbed the gun, and that’s how he got shot in the hand,” she said.

Police have released a photo of a suspect but have yet to identify him. He was last seen riding as a passenger in a mid-2000’s Pontiac G6.

Investigator James White told on Wednesday detectives don’t know why the men started shooting, but it appeared to be random violence.

Clark recognized the gunman as a fellow customer at JJ’s, he said. The man made no demands before he opened fire, which led Clark to believe it was not an attempted robbery. It felt like the man had something to prove, he said.

Police officers are searching for this vehicle, which has been tied to at least one shooting in southwest Atlanta.

icon to expand image

Only Clark, the father of two young children, was injured in the shooting, and he remains hospitalized. McKinnie is urging anyone with information on the identity of the suspect to come forward.

“We're so inundated with this kind of stuff,” she said. “We've become so desensitized to the violence, but that’s my nephew.”

Earlier Sunday, officers responded to another unrelated shooting on the Westside. That victim told police he was shot by two men on Browning Street after they asked for directions to the West Lake MARTA station, officers on scene told Channel 2 Action News.

Officers responded around 7:30 p.m. and took the victim to a hospital with gunshot wounds. He was grazed in his neck and his elbow, the news station reported.

Anyone with information in either case is asked to contact Atlanta police. Tipsters can remain anonymous, and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000, by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.

In other news: 

Security video shows someone driving away in it Sunday. Moments before, a concierge confronted a man in a red jacket.