Man arrested after shooting outside Atlantic Station hotel

The shots were fired at the vehicle of an off-duty Atlanta Metropolitan State College police officer working an extra job

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

A man was arrested Wednesday night after police said he fired several shots outside an Atlantic Station hotel.

The man, later identified by police as 30-year-old Otis Rashad Laws, lives at the Twelve Midtown hotel on 17th Street, Channel 2 Action News reported. Officers were called to the hotel about 11 p.m. to investigate reports of shots fired.

Investigators learned the shots were fired at the vehicle of an off-duty Atlanta Metropolitan State College police officer working an extra job, according to Atlanta police spokesman Officer Steve Avery. No one was reported injured.

Max Wiley, a guest on the third floor, said the gunfire sounded like it came from an assault rifle.

“Runs in the hotel, gets his gun, he comes around, starts shooting and goes back into the hotel," Wiley told Channel 2. "I just fell on the floor and just ducked.

"It was right outside my window, so I didn’t know where the bullets was going.”

Cellphone video taken from the rooftop of the hotel and shared with the news station shows multiple officers converge on Laws outside the building and arrest him. Police said he was intoxicated, Channel 2 reported.

Laws is being held in the Fulton County Jail on charges of aggravated assault, reckless conduct and possession of a gun during the commission of a felony.

The shooting was just one in a series of violent incidents across the city overnight. As officers responded to the Atlantic Station shooting, police found 42-year-old Mohammed Abdus-Salaam with multiple gunshot wounds in the 1000 block of Camilla Street in southwest Atlanta. He was unloading groceries from his car when the shooting started and died at the scene, Avery said.

No information on a suspect was released.

Early Thursday morning, a locksmith on a service call was shot at a Buckhead apartment complex when the man requesting his help refused to give his name, police said.

Then, shortly after 5 a.m., officers were dispatched again after a man was found shot and killed inside a vehicle parked near South Bend Park in southeast Atlanta’s Lakewood Heights neighborhood. His death has since been ruled a homicide, according to Avery. That victim’s name has not been released.

In a recent interview, interim police Chief Rodney Bryant was asked about the spike in shootings and homicides across the city this year. Bryant said the recent increase in violence is something police are seeing in major cities across the U.S., not just in Atlanta.

“I wouldn’t say that criminals are getting more brazen. I think what we’re recognizing through this COVID period is that there’s much more difficulty in people being able to have conflict resolution,” he said, adding that criminals have been violent for decades and “this isn’t a new phenomenon.”

“I think that what we are seeing during this unique time in our lifetime with this COVID pandemic is people are just a little less able to resolve a level of conflict,” Bryant said.

According to Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, crime in the city is down about 20% overall, despite an uptick in homicides. The police department has investigated at least 108 homicides this year, nine more than in all of 2019.