Eli Smith, 22, who regularly volunteers for the food ministry, described a chaotic scene after the gunfire. Five or six shots were fired, he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
As Smith helped a person down the steps of the church, he said he was knocked down by the suspected gunman as he ran past. Smith saw the suspect run inside the church’s basement lobby, so he followed him. When Smith tried to speak to the man, the suspect lunged at him, so he left and called 911, he said.
While Smith was talking to the 911 dispatcher, he saw the man leave the church basement through a side exit door. Smith followed and confronted him by the church’s dumpster. When he told the man he was on the phone with 911, the suspect “took off,” Smith said.
According to Smith, he was interviewed by police and picked the suspect, identified as Rogers, out of a photo lineup. During the incident, Smith said he did not see the shooting or the victim.
Rogers is facing charges of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He is accused of shooting the victim, then attempting to discard some of his clothing so he would not be recognized, police said.
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