Eddy Leonardo was headed into his Roswell check cashing business Saturday afternoon when he was ambushed by two men and killed in front of his son, authorities said.
Investigators believe robbery was the motive in the fatal shooting of the 48-year-old father, who owned a business inside the Super Mercado Jalisco, a popular Hispanic grocery chain, Channel 2 Action News reported.
According to a Roswell police report obtained by the news station, Leonardo was carrying $50,000 into his business when he was gunned down.
Leonardo’s longtime friend, Juan James, said he was leaving the parking lot of the Alpharetta Street grocery store shortly before 1 p.m. when he heard two gunshots.
He and Leonardo grew up in the same town in the Dominican Republic, and Leonardo was well-liked by their friends living in metro Atlanta, James said.
“In the community, he was a good person,” James said, calling his friend’s death tragic. “People liked him a lot.”
On Monday, Roswell police arrested 29-year-old James English in the case, charging him with murder and criminal attempt to commit robbery. A second suspect has not been identified and is still at large, authorities said.
Police were able to identify English as the murder suspect because the store’s surveillance cameras captured his license plate as he drove away from the scene, Channel 2 reported.
It’s unclear if the suspects actually stole any money from Leonardo before fleeing the scene, Roswell police spokesman Officer Sean Thompson said.
“It was Saturday — the first of the month — and people were cashing checks, so he had a lot of cash on him,” Thompson said. “These guys knew that somehow and followed him.”
English remains held at the Fulton County Jail without bond. Anyone who knows the name or location of the second suspect is asked to call Roswell detectives at 770-640-4100. Tips can also be submitted anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477.
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