Trial to start for man accused of fatal 2011 Midtown shooting

Jury selection began Monday in the murder trial of a former security guard accused of shooting three women in 2011 at a Midtown parking deck, killing one and paralyzing another.

Prosecutors say Nkosi Thandiwe followed Brittany Watts to her car in the parking deck adjacent to the Proscenium Building on Crescent Avenue just before lunchtime on July 15, and shot her in the neck.

Watts, 26, died at the scene. Thandiwe took her Toyota Prius, speeding out of the parking area and firing shots into the crowd as he fled, police said.

Tiffany Ferenczy and Lauren Garcia were crossing the street as the car sped away and were both hit by shots. While Ferenczy was struck in the calf and quickly recovered from her injury, Garcia was left paralyzed by a gunshot wound to the torso.

Thandiwe, 23, is charged with murder, felony murder – causing a death during the commission of a felony – several counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, carjacking and gun charges.

Police were unable to pinpoint a motive after Thandiwe turned himself in with his attorney, hours after the shooting.

The only known connection he had to the three women he allegedly shot was that they all worked in the same building he’d been charged with protecting as a security guard.

Thandiwe, 23, had worked for more than a year for Allied Barton Security Services, assigned to the Proscenium Building.

And just as he’d passed security clearance for his job, he was able to pass the law enforcement background screening required for the Glock semi-automatic handgun he purchased just over two weeks before the shooting.

Thandiwe pleaded not guilty and his initial attorney, John Garland, had his client undergo a mental evaluation late in 2011 to determine his mental competency to stand trial.

But in June, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Kelly A. Lee ruled that Thandiwe was capable of understanding what was happening during a trial.

Thandiwe is no longer Garland’s client.

He remains in custody without bond at the Fulton County Jail.

Return for updates.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.