At least five times a day, the father of a Kennesaw man critically injured more than two weeks ago after being shot multiple times asks "Why?"
Why was his son shot multiple times at work? Why did the alleged gunman open fire? Why did three men die while his son and another man are still alive?
Mike Werner said Thursday he doesn't have the answers. But his son, Zachariah, is a fighter. Every day continues to be a fight for his life.
The 36-year-old married father of three has been in critical condition since the afternoon of Jan. 12. That's when police say Jesse James Warren, a former employee of the Penske truck leasing facility near Kennesaw, fired shots from at least two handguns, killing three.
Co-workers Zach Werner and Joshua Holbrook were both critically injured. On Monday, Holbrook was transferred to the Shepherd Center to continue his recovery. Two other co-workers, Van Springer and Roberto Gonzalez, died from their injuries. A customer, Jaider Marulanda, was also killed.
The alleged gunman, known as "Jimmy," remains in the Cobb County jail without bond.
Mike Werner said Jan. 12 was a normal work day for his son, who enjoyed the work he had done at the facility over the past three years. But that afternoon, Werner said he got a call at his Ohio job from his daughter-in-law.
"She could hardly talk," Werner said. "Instantly, I knew something was wrong."
Zach's wife, Jody, has not left the hospital since that day. The Werner family isn't even sure if Zach can hear them or even realize they're there.
Holbrook's family has declined to speak on the 27-year-old's condition.
At the Penske facility, business has resumed after several somber days, according to a company spokesperson. The company has increased security personnel at the facility, and that is expected to continue "for the foreseeable future," according to Penske's Randy Ryerson, speaking from the company's headquarters in Reading, Pa.
The company still has grief counselors available for associates, Ryerson said. "It's been tough on everyone."
Werner said it's hard not to be angry at the alleged gunman, but for now, the family is trying to focus on Zach's recovery.
"I've had some negative thoughts about the person who did this," Mike Werner said. "His day will come."
Warren, a 60-year-old from Temple, has no previous criminal history, according to his attorney Michael Ivan.
Ivan, a Marietta attorney, was appointed Warren's case by the Cobb County circuit public defender's office.
"Jimmy is a very troubled soul," Ivan said.
On Feb. 9, Warren will appear before a Superior Court judge in a bond hearing. Ivan said Thursday that Warren also has the right to request a probable cause hearing, but no decision has been made at this point.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.
With the largest team in the state, the AJC reports what’s really going on with your tax dollars and your elected officials. Subscribe today. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.
Your subscription to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.