Buckhead residents were rattled awake before dawn Tuesday when a litany of bullets pierced a luxury SUV in the middle of Lindbergh Drive, leaving a woman dead in the backseat, according to Atlanta police.
The attack then ended as abruptly as it began. The black Cadillac Escalade, which had a limousine tag and was being used as an Uber vehicle, was left with several bullet holes and shattered windows.
The victim was gunned down near the intersection of Lindbergh and Adina drives shortly before 4:30 a.m., according to Atlanta police Deputy Chief Charles Hampton Jr. One witness said the woman had just gotten off work.
She was identified as 31-year-old Teisha Brewley by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office.
“Right now, this appears to be a targeted incident,” Hampton confirmed.
Witnesses described an eerie silence immediately following the unmistakable sound of gunfire, which startled those living in the quiet townhomes and condos that line Lindbergh Drive in southeast Buckhead.
Roads in the area were blocked for hours, affecting those returning to work after the long holiday weekend. Dozens of evidence markers were scattered across the street, marking where shell casings fell.
Johari Humbles was one of the first people to arrive at the scene. She said she spoke with the victim’s family, who told her the woman was on her way home when she was attacked.
“She was less than a block away from home,” she said. “I think they just caught her at the red light.”
Police said the SUV’s driver, who was not injured, is cooperating with the investigation.
“It looks like that she was ambushed,” Humbles said. “There was an Uber driver, she was in an Uber, and the Uber driver was unscathed, pretty much.”
Humbles had been out walking her dogs when she came upon the scene and saw the victim lying across the back floorboard of the vehicle. A blue tarp was erected by the driver’s side of the SUV to block the body from view as investigators photographed the scene.
“It looks like she went down to the floor for cover,” Humbles said.
Hampton said multiple shooters are suspected, and two vehicles may have been involved, one of which was described by witnesses as a light-colored sedan. Police have not disclosed a motive or said if any suspects have been identified.
Uber said the company is assisting police with the investigation.
“We are horrified by the news of this chilling attack,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. “We have been in touch with the driver to check on his well-being, and our thoughts are with the victim’s family during this heartbreaking time.”
Shortly before the deadly incident, police received calls about vehicles being shot about a mile away in the area of Buford Highway at Lenox and Cheshire Bridge roads, Hampton said. Humbles said family members told her the victim worked at a club on Cheshire Bridge Road, but investigators are still working to determine if the two incidents are related.
Another woman who lives near the scene, who did not want to be identified, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she heard between five and 10 gunshots.
“I said, ‘That can’t be fireworks!’ So I got up and I looked out and I didn’t see anything, but I heard a car drove off like pretty fast,” the woman said.
Another neighbor, who has lived in the area for four years and also did not want to be identified, said he heard a volley of gunshots.
“I just dropped to the floor and then I just waited to see what was gonna happen afterward because I wasn’t sure whether the bullets were flying and which direction,” he said. “I woke my girlfriend up and told her to get on the ground, too. It was pretty loud.”
After the gunshots, the man said the scene was unexpectedly quiet until police sirens broke the silence.
“It was just very quick, and I just — I expected more out of it in terms of like the commotion,” he said.