3 charged with murder in Virginia-Highland shooting

Atlanta police arrested three young men and charged them with murder in a high-profile shooting in the Virginia-Highland area and a rape and home invasion a few hours later in Grant Park, but suspect they could be linked to more than 20 other crimes.

Tamario Wise, 18, and two others are charged with murder and armed robbery in the killing of  Charles Boyer. The  39-year-old man was shot several times in a struggle with a gunman just moments after he and his girlfriend got out of the car at her apartment Nov. 22. While the other two are in custody and also charged, police declined to name them because of a related ongoing investigation. Police also have in custody a fourth and fifth man who are suspected of committing crimes with either Wise or his two partners charged with murdering Boyer.

“Make no mistake,” Atlanta Police Chief George Turner said at a news conference with Mayor Kasim Reed and top investigators crowded around him. “We have removed some very dangerous criminals from the streets of Atlanta.”

Major Keith Meadows, who is APD's head of major crimes, said the three were not linked to a particular gang but they were part of a loose group of individuals who knew each other from the Amal Heights neighborhood, which is between I-75 and the Lakewood region in south Atlanta. They are suspected in other crimes that "had the same MO," Meadows said.

Most of those crimes involved home invasions, pedestrian robberies or carjackings. Police declined to provide details because of the continuing investigation. But the first crime most likely was Aug. 18 and the series continued until Wise was arrested Nov. 27.

"Wise was possibly the ringleader," Meadows said.

"He would go to the labor pool of criminals," looking for partners to help him with the crime of the day, Turner said.

Witnesses reported seeing a dark-colored SUV speed away from the Boyer shooting and other neighborhood shootings.

A surveillance camera at a convenience store captured images of three men putting gas in a Toyota Highlander that met witnesses' accounts. Police said Wise was the man with a "Mohawk haircut." There was a second man  wearing a bright pink shirt who also was clearly seen on the video.

On Nov. 26 the Highlander was found in the parking lot at MARTA's Lakewood station; it had been reported stolen from Greenview Avenue.

On Nov. 22, Boyer and his girlfriend were getting out of a car at her apartment around 10 p.m.  when three masked men came up.

The woman, Lisa McGraw, told police that after she got out of the car she felt a gun pressed to her head as two or three masked men asked her to give up the apartment keys and walk to her apartment.  They walked a bit before McGraw ran to seek help. She later told police that she heard gunshots as she ran.

Police found Boyer dead in front of one of the apartment buildings.  His mother, Ann Boyer, declined comment when contacted by the AJC Wednesday.

Later that night, and five miles away, a man reported that three men accosted him moments after he, his wife and their daughter returned from grocery shopping. The woman and girl were already inside the house on Underwood Avenue in Grant Park when three men pulled up in a dark SUV.

The three demanded to be let inside but the man refused. The would-be intruders shot at the man but missed.

There was another incident that night. A man reported he was walking in the 600 block of Home Avenue when three men in a dark SUV pulled up and robbed him.

Several hours later, early Nov. 23, the home invasion and rape on Boulevard were reported.

Wise and the other two are charged with the Nov. 23 home invasion but not the two shootings that came in the hours after the Boyer shooting.

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