Police link men to carjacking; unclear if murder involvement

Atlanta police on Friday released images of two men believed responsible for a Buckhead  carjacking, but stopped short of linking them to three neighborhood armed robberies, which included the fatal shooting of Charles Boyer.

Video footage recorded in a convenience store showed an African-American man in a Mohawk haircut, red polo shirt and jeans with embroidered rear pockets walk into the unidentified store, before returning to a black Toyota Highlander, where another black man in dreadlocks, jeans, black jacket and dark skull cap was pumping gas.

The vehicle was taken at gun point last week on Greenview Avenue.

"Those individuals are connected with the carjacked vehicle," Atlanta homicide commander Lt. Paul Guerrucci said. "Certainly, we need to talk to them."

Police weren't prepared to link the two men to the robberies and the death of Boyer, 39, who was shot on Monday night while returning with his girlfriend to her apartment near Virginia Avenue and Monroe Drive.

Guerrucci also couldn’t confirm whether the car-jacking or any of the other recent violent crimes, were gang-related.

“But we’re always of the mindset that there could be more people involved,” the commander said

Police said Boyer tried to fight off three men while his girlfriend escaped, and he was killed in the process.

"Boyer took a defensive posture when he was shot," police spokesman Carlos Campos said.

The suspects in the shooting and other incidents allegedly fled in a black SUV. Police recovered a vehicle matching that description Thursday near the Lakewood MARTA station, but wouldn't say whether it was connected to any of the incidents, including the shooting.

Virginia Highland residents were rightfully upset over the murder and armed robberies that have terrorized their corner of metro Atlanta.

"We all hope that APD really has found a real clue to find out who these thugs are," said John Wolfinger, a member of multiple neighborhood groups.

Terry Krueger, who lived in Chicago, Denver and San Francisco before moving to Atlanta, chose Virginia Highland for her residence specifically because it was a pedestrian-friendly area. Now she doesn't go out walking anymore.

“Of all the places I’ve lived, Atlanta seems to have the greatest amount of crime,” Krueger said. “I just think that if they can clean up the crime in cities like New York and New Orleans, there’s got to be something we can do in Atlanta.”

Three masked men put a gun to the head of Boyer's girlfriend as the two exited a car in front of her apartment on Virginia Avenue. They ordered the woman to give up her keys. Boyer was shot as he and his girlfriend tried to escape.

The night after Boyer was killed and five miles away, three men accosted another man near Grant Park, shooting at him but missing. The victim, who lived on Underwood Avenue, had returned from a grocery trip with his family. His wife and young daughter were in the house when he was approached. The intruders wanted to enter the house, but the man refused.

"He had a gun in his gut and he told them ‘no,'" said Derek Baugh, a neighbor.

Baugh, 38, didn't witness the incident, but he heard a gunshot and ran outside to see an SUV, headlights off, backing down the street and into an intersection.

The Atlanta Police Department issued a warning Wednesday evening that said those two crimes and another were committed by violent "predators."

In the third incident on Tuesday evening, a man walking in the 600 block of Home Avenue encountered three black men who entered his home and robbed him. A dark SUV again was seen in the area, the police statement said.