Man accused of shooting, killing longtime friend at Smyrna apartment

A Smyrna man is accused of shooting and killing his longtime friend Wednesday morning during a fight inside his apartment.
A Smyrna man is accused of shooting and killing his longtime friend Wednesday morning during a fight inside his apartment.

A man faces a murder charge after police said he shot and killed his longtime friend Wednesday morning during a fight inside his Smyrna apartment.

Officers responded to the Alder Park Apartments off Spring Road shortly before 1 a.m. after several people called 911 to report the shooting, including the suspect himself, authorities said.

They arrived to find the body of 27-year-old Juanita Nicole McFadden in the entryway with multiple gunshot wounds, Smyrna police spokesman Sgt. Louis Defense said. McFadden’s longtime friend and former roommate, 30-year-old Carl Anthony Crawford, admitted shooting her and was taken into custody at the scene, according to his warrant.

McFadden’s mother told AJC.com the two had known each other since middle school, and that her daughter had dated Crawford’s roommate and lived at the apartment until a few months ago.

“He was a really close friend of the family,” DeAnna Butler said Thursday, adding that her loved ones are struggling to make sense of what happened. “We’re just in turmoil. We know it’s true, but it’s like we haven’t really processed it yet.”

Prior to the shooting, McFadden had been arguing with Crawford and repeatedly called another friend to come pick her up from the apartment, police wrote in the arrest warrant. That friend told investigators he received four FaceTime calls within a 10-minute period and was told to leave his car running and help her carry her bags.

As he walked toward the apartment, however, he heard two shots and McFadden yell, “Did you just shoot me?” according to the warrant. He then heard several more gunshots and the woman scream, “You shot me.”

Shortly after the shooting, he saw Crawford emerge from the downstairs apartment and walk toward him. He ran away and dialed 911 as Crawford got into the man’s running Nissan and began chasing him through the complex, according to police.

In an interview with detectives at the Smyrna Jail, Crawford said he saw McFadden’s friend running away and decided to chase him.

“He explained that he was fat, so he decided to get into (the man’s) vehicle and attempt to catch him,” Crawford’s warrant said. He told police he eventually realized he was “doing too (expletive) much,” and dialed 911 to report the shooting on the way back to his home.

In the interview at the jail, Crawford told police he called McFadden to get her things from his apartment earlier in the day and that she arrived about 20 or 30 minutes before the shooting and was verbally abusive to him, according to the warrant.

“Mr. Crawford stated that Ms. McFadden began gathering her items in a canvas bag, but instead of waiting for her ride outside, she refused to leave,” police said.

At some point the two ended up in the entry hallway, where Crawford said McFadden punched him several times in the chest. Though he told police he didn’t believe his life was in danger, Crawford admitted pulling a 9mm gun from his pocket and shooting the woman repeatedly, according to his warrant.

Crawford was booked into the Cobb County Jail on charges of murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and theft by taking for allegedly stealing the man’s Nissan, online jail records show.

The fatal shooting was at least the second homicide in Cobb County this week. On Monday evening, a fourth grade teacher was shot and killed during a carjacking outside his Vinings apartment, according to Cobb police. Investigators have not identified any suspects in that case.

— Please return to AJC.com for updates.

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