On Wednesday (March 24), Atlanta police arrested a man who entered a grocery store carrying a rifle. According to a report by CNN, a witness saw the man enter the Publix supermarket at Atlantic Station, a mixed-use residential and commercial complex located in the city.
One witness reportedly saw the man coming into “the location openly carrying a rifle and entered the bathroom,” police said. The witness told store management and called the police, according to an initial investigation.
When officers arrived on the scene, they found and detained the man, and recovered five weapons, three pistols and two rifles, and body armor during their investigation.
“When the male exited the bathroom, arriving units immediately detained” him, the Atlanta Police Department said in a statement.
The suspect has been identified by police as Rico Marley, 22. He faces charges of reckless conduct and is expected to be transported to the Fulton County jail.
The arrest comes two days after a mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado at a grocery store that left ten people dead. Last week, eight people were killed in Atlanta after a gunman opened fire in three different locations that targeted Asian Americans.
In 2019, Publix grocery stores aligned with several other retailers who requested customers not to carry weapons openly in stores in states where open carry is legal.
Atlanta police reported that Marley is undergoing a mental health evaluation and the investigation is ongoing.
Shortly after Marley was arrested, Atlanta authorities responded to a call of a suspicious package at the same location.
Atlantic Station tweeted that they would be shutting down in response to the package.
“At the request of APD, due to a suspicious package, Atlantic Station is immediately shutting down the Atlantic Station district and the parking deck,” the tweet said.
It’s unclear if the package is related to the suspect or his arrest.
The complex also tweeted they “will reopen as soon as possible,” adding “the safety of the Atlantic Station community is of utmost importance.”
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