A day after a man in Colorado was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder after opening fire in a grocery store, a man was arrested in Atlanta after bringing six guns and body armor into a Publix.
“Preliminary investigation indicates the male entered the location openly carrying a rifle and entered the bathroom,” according to the Atlanta Police Department (APD). “A witness observed the male and alerted store management who then notified police. When the male exited the bathroom, arriving units immediately detained the male.”
The suspect was later identified as 22-year-old Rico Marley.
Upon his Wednesday afternoon arrest, Marley was charged with reckless conduct, and booked into the Fulton County Jail.
In a Thursday morning update, APD said that he has been charged with several additional crimes.
“The suspect in this case is currently in the Fulton County Jail charged with five counts of Criminal Attempt – Aggravated Assault and six counts of Possession of a Firearm During Commission of a Felony,” the update said. “At the time of his arrest the suspect had a total of six firearms in his possession.”
Marley’s intentions remain unknown.
WSBTV reporter Matt Johnson obtained a photo of a small arsenal of weapons and ammunition that Marley was carrying. They included a semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun and four handguns.
This is a picture I obtained of the 6 guns, and ammo, found on the 22 year old suspect at the Atlantic Station Publix today. Police have said he was found with 5 but there appears to be one more handgun. Intentions of the suspect are still unknown. https://t.co/gMZBvbwWT8 pic.twitter.com/kQG9VgSfOx
— Matt Johnson (@MattWSB) March 25, 2021
At around the same time, a suspicious package was found in the parking deck of Atlantic Station, the shopping center where the Publix is located.
The shopping center closed for an investigation, but has not provided any updates since that announcement.
We are closely monitoring the situation alongside APD, and we will reopen as soon as possible. The safety of the Atlantic Station community is of utmost importance. (2/2)
— Atlantic Station (@AtlanticStation) March 24, 2021
It remained unclear Thursday morning whether the incident in the Publix and the suspicious package are related.
Quick action by the witness, store management and police might have averted a tragedy.
Atlanta is still reeling from last week’s rampage wherein a gunman allegedly killed eight people after opening fire on three separate Asian massage parlors, two of which were located in the metro Atlanta area. The gunman’s stated motive was his own sexual addiction, which he blamed on the massage parlors.
Ahmad al-Issa killed 10 in a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado Tuesday. His motives have not been released, but social media posts showed that he was an avid reader of The Washington Post, and loathed former President Donald J. Trump.
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