Cobb County police have detained two suspects and were looking Saturday for at least two others who were involved in a crime spree that included two murders and a car chase which ended with the suicide of a gunman.
The case began with a quadruple shooting -- one of them fatal -- in an Austell home invasion early Friday. Cobb police spokesman Sgt. Dana Pierce said the suspects also are thought to be involved in the death of a woman found in a burning car an hour later, not far from the house on Brass Trail in Austell.
Pierce said Cobb detectives are trying to sort out the "complicated" cases that involve "gangs, drugs, robbery, sex ... [and] aspiring rap artists. It runs a whole gamut of motives," Pierce said.
A man and a woman were detained at the end of an 80 mph chase Friday night that started at South Gordon Road and ended on Six Flags Parkway moments after a second man in the car committed suicide.
The man and woman are being questioned about both the home invasion and the dead woman found in the burning car.
The first homicide came around 2:40 a.m. Friday, when Cobb County police were called to the house on Brass Trail, where two of the victims lived with their mother.
Nicholas Garner, 20, had been shot to death in his mother's house. Garner's older brother, Aaron, and the two other Cobb men also found at the house are expected to recover from their respective gunshot wounds, Pierce said.
Cobb police said Dimitri Hunter, 22, was taken by air ambulance to Atlanta Medical Center where he had surgery, and he is in stable condition. Aaron Garner, 22, and Brandon Cox, 25, were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. Cox was in fair condition Saturday afternoon. Aaron Garner's condition was not known.
Pierce said detectives were able to talk with Garner and Cox but not Hunter.
Less than an hour after the home invasion, police found a woman, dead, in a burning late model Chevrolet Impala on South Gordon Road,.
"It is still undetermined who she is and how she fits into the whole picture," Pierce said.
But her death is connected, he said.
Then around 7:15 p.m. Friday, detectives questioning witnesses on South Gordon Road spotted a Mercury Marquis that had been seen on Brass Trail around the time of the home invasion.
A marked police car was dispatched and there was a "short chase."
Pierce said a man in the front passenger seat "turned and shot through his own back window. The officer sees that passenger's head weave back and forth and then slump. Moments later, the car stopped, the driver shoves his hands out the window and the female gets out [of the back seat] and sits on the side." Pierce said the man in the passenger seat was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Police did not release the man's name.
Pierce said the woman was distraught and the driver blamed the passenger for the chase, shouting "'he made me do it. He made me do it.'"
The two have been detained but not yet charged so their names were not released, Pierce said.
A neighbor of the house that was invaded, Tresa Andrews, said she knew the family well.
"They're nice," Andrews said. " ... My prayers are going out for them. They're such wonderful boys. ... They grew up with my children."
Two of the victims who lived in the house went to South Cobb High School with her daughter, she said.
"I'm in total shock, total disbelief," said Andrews, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1997. "It's been quiet — never had an incident, anything like this."
Another neighbor, however, said he sensed trouble.
"We saw it coming. We're not surprised," said Emmanuel Nwosk, who said the house attracted large numbers of people who came and went. "I have called police several times. ... I don't let my kids come out and play because of that house.
"The two boys, they attracted a crowd all the time. ... It's very unfortunate it takes this" to get the police to respond, he said.
Staff writer Joel Provano and photographer John Spink contributed to this article.
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.