A 31-year-old man has not been seen or heard from in the two weeks since someone fired shots in the parking lot of an East Point McDonald’s.
The gunfire June 12 left a bystander with a gunshot wound in her face. East Point police Sgt. Ebony Bullock said Wednesday investigators still don’t know who fired the series of shots, or if there was more than one shooter.
Jeffrey Merriweather’s family told Channel 2 Action News they think the shooting has something to do with his disappearance. Bullock said foul play is suspected.
“I don’t care what he gets into, what happens to him, he’s going to call me,” the man’s father, also named Jeffrey Merriweather, told the news station. “For him not to have reached out to me right now, at this point in time, I’m a wreck.”
His son, a father of three, went to the McDonald’s on Virginia Avenue the day of the shooting in a black SUV, Channel 2 reported. At some point, he exited the vehicle and got into a white Toyota 4Runner. Then someone started shooting at the Toyota, police told the news station.
Both vehicles drove off, video surveillance footage obtained by Channel 2 showed. Police believe the black SUV was driven by an acquaintance of Merriweather’s, the news station reported. They are seeking to identify the man as a person of interest in the case.
“The person of interest is believed to possibly be a gunman associated with this case,” Bullock told AJC.com in an email.
They are also looking for more information on the driver of the Toyota 4Runner, which police said might be a 2003 to 2009 model. Merriweather’s SUV was later found wrecked, Channel 2 reported.
Investigators don’t know why Merriweather went to the McDonald’s on June 12 or if he fired any shots, Bullock said. Police found only one victim, the bystander, when they arrived around 5:30 p.m. She was treated at a hospital.
The case remains under investigation, and Merriweather’s family is still hoping he will come home.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Bullock at 678-614-7049. Tipsters can remain anonymous, and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000, by calling Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.
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Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC