Michael Aszman only had a few interactions with Shinners and Horne since moving into the building in November. They were always available to help residents, he said, and Shinners never missed sending out a weekly building update email.
”They’re just great people that were trying to do their job,” Aszman said. “I don’t think they deserved what happened to them.”
Freeman was shot at an office tower at 1100 Peachtree Street and later died at Grady Memorial Hospital. He was BDO USA Atlanta’s IT audit director and Kengne’s direct supervisor from September 2019 until November 2021, according to lawsuits filed by Kengne.
According to arrest warrants, Kengne held a fourth victim at gunpoint demanding personal property from the management office.
Lawsuits show that Kengne was suing Shinners and Freeman, Beacon Management Services and BDO USA, along with multiple defendants, claiming they retaliated against her, broke into her home, persecuted her and blacklisted her from relevant job opportunities.
In a suit filed in May in Fulton County, Kengne claimed BDO USA, Beacon Management and some residents at 1280 West worked together to harass, intimidate and have her home burglarized multiple times after she reported deficiencies while working on audits at BDO USA. Kengne claimed Freeman started a smear campaign against her after reporting the issues in the audits. She also accused her former attorneys of violating attorney-client privilege and talking to BDO USA about her case.
The case was moved to federal court in July. Shortly after, Judge Catherine Salinas ordered to strike Kengne’s original complaint from the docket, denied her motion to remand her case to state court and denied her motion for a stay in all motions.
Last week, Kengne, who was representing herself, filed an appeal to Salinas’ order with the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
Kengne is also part of a class action lawsuit filed by multiple residents of 1280 West against Beacon Management claiming negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract related to repairs made to multiple balconies on the property. In the suit, plaintiffs allege Beacon Management failed to file claims under the condominium association insurance, resulting in plaintiffs having to pay thousands in fees for repairs.
Maragh Girvan, who lives at 1280 West, said she had an interaction with Kengne just weeks ago while Kengne was campaigning for a seat on the condo’s board.
“We spoke for a while, and basically she told me a lot about the security issues that she had,” Girvan said, adding that Kengne was “extremely unhappy with the management.”
Girvan described her as pleasant and professional, though it seemed “it wasn’t necessarily in her comfort zone to be going door to door and talking to people.”
”I don’t necessarily know about the management employees’ office politics, but I just found everyone who works here to be extremely attentive and kind and helpful for any issues. Most things are handled very swiftly,” Girvan said. “It’s sad and it’s disappointing that this would happen.”
Coming home one day, Aszman said he found a flyer from Kengne on his door stating she was running for the board. With each resident only having access to their floor, Aszman expressed confusion as to how Kengne got to all 44 floors in the building, since a key card is needed.
On the flyer, Kengne said “the concierge staff is not security,” claimed her apartment was broken into several times in 2021 and the building needed to add additional cameras. She wanted to bring more transparency and ethics to the board.
Deven Crane was working from home at 1280 West on Monday when the shooting occurred. He said an announcement was made on the overhead speakers to shelter in place.
“I was pretty shocked, so I locked my door,” Crane said.
Crane said he never worried about his security during his five years living in the building. He said most people there are friendly with each other, including several neighbors who are raising funds to help the families of those shot at 1280 West and other staff.
”I’m just hoping we can raise enough to make a little bit of a difference,” Aszman said.
BDO USA said they are cooperating with law enforcement as the investigation continues.
“Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of our colleague Wesley Freeman who lost his life. Wesley was an incredible team member who brought passion, dedication and integrity to his work, and he will be deeply missed,” the statement said.
— Staff writer J.D. Capelouto contributed to this article.