Man arrested in chaotic Buckhead shooting that shattered Sephora storefront

Credit: Caroline Silva

Credit: Caroline Silva

Witness says gunfire sent crowds running in busy shopping district

Shoppers and diners in a crowded Buckhead business district ran screaming Tuesday afternoon when a man opened fire nearby.

Investigators believe the man was firing at a car driving along Peachtree Road near Buckhead Village, missing the vehicle but sending at least one bullet through the glass door of a Sephora store about 2 p.m. No one was injured, Atlanta police said.

Officers immediately began searching the area, and they located 33-year-old Henok Gebremichael hiding in a nearby neighborhood. After a short foot chase, Gebremichael was taken into custody without further incident, a police spokesperson said.

He is facing multiple charges, including 12 counts of reckless conduct and a single count of second-degree criminal damage to property. With a prior felony conviction and an “extensive criminal history,” Gebremichael was not supposed to have a gun, the police spokesperson said.

“He was a dangerous threat to the community and to the citizens of Atlanta, and thankfully, no innocent bystander or officers were injured,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

According to police, the shooting escalated from an argument between Gebremichael and the person in the vehicle. It was not clear if the two knew each other.

Felipe Cárdenas, a Buckhead resident, was sitting outside at Dancing Goats Coffee next door to Sephora on a work call when he heard about three gunshots around 1:50 p.m.

“We all stopped and looked at each other, like everyone that was there. And I remember I looked at a gentleman and he looked at me and he shook his head as if he knew what it was, kind of like disappointed,” Cárdenas told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution via phone.

Then a woman’s scream filled the silence and Cárdenas watched as employees at a restaurant next door flew out the door and began running.

“That’s when everyone just got up and ran. I was on a call and I told my colleague, ‘I’m running,’ and I just threw my laptop in my bookbag and took off to my car,” he said.

Credit: Caroline Silva

Credit: Caroline Silva

Cárdenas described a chaotic scene where witnesses weren’t sure where to run. He said many had confused looks on their faces.

“This was the first time I’ve had to like actually actively run and I witnessed the confusion of people,” Cárdenas said. “No one knew what to do, basically.”

Sephora was closed for the remainder of the day Tuesday. It was unclear when the store will reopen.

— Staff writer Chelsea Prince contributed to this article.