Warrant: Suspect shot man at Georgia State MARTA station for poking him

A man was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly shot a man sitting on a bench at the Georgia State MARTA station, police said.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

A man was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly shot a man sitting on a bench at the Georgia State MARTA station, police said.

The suspect accused in Tuesday’s fatal shooting at the Georgia State MARTA station told police he shot the victim for apparently touching him, according to arrest warrants obtained Wednesday.

Paul Niqual Mitchell, 22, was arrested in connection with the death of John Marty Torres, who was sitting on a bench at the station around 1:25 p.m. when he was shot from behind, MARTA police said.

“(Mitchell) stated that the victim had poked his butt and he flashed out and shot him,” the warrants stated. “Mitchell also stated that he felt as if people had been chasing after him and his life was in danger before the incident.”

Police said that after Torres was shot from behind, Mitchell allegedly fired up to six more times in rapid succession with a 9mm handgun while the victim was lying on the ground. Torres was pronounced dead by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The MARTA station was closed off after the incident, police said.

Officers responded just before 1:30 p.m. to the shooting, which happened less than 60 hours after four people, including two 18-year-old Georgia State students, were shot near campus about a half-mile from the MARTA station. When police arrived Tuesday, they came across Mitchell, who admitted he shot Torres, the warrants state. He was arrested moments later.

Paul Niqual Mitchell, 22, was arrested Tuesday in connection with the shooting in downtown Atlanta.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

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Credit: Channel 2 Action News

According to the warrant, surveillance video shows the victim walking in the bus loop and sitting down on the bench near Jesse Hill Jr. Drive. Mitchell is then seen walking from the same direction as Torres, the warrant stated, and about a minute later starts pacing back and forth behind him. A few seconds after that, Mitchell is captured in the footage allegedly firing one shot at Torres from behind with the handgun, which police said had an extended magazine. He then paces back and forth again before officers arrive at the scene.

Police said no university students were involved in the incident.

A day earlier, university leaders discussed plans to add more security measures on campus, including more lighting, cameras and call boxes, following Sunday’s shooting. Police said the victims, one of whom was in critical condition, were shot at the intersection of John Wesley Dobbs Avenue and Courtland Street following a nearby incident in which “non-GSU individuals” exchanged gunfire. University President M. Brian Blake also said officers would be increasing patrols in the area.

Mitchell was booked into the county jail and is facing charges of felony murder and possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of or attempt to commit certain felonies, according to online records. He is also facing aggravated assault and sexual battery charges related to another incident in April. He is being held without bond.

The investigation into Tuesday’s shooting is ongoing.

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