By David in TN
Last updated at 10:58 a.m., on Sunday, July 17, 2011.
This story just broke about the murder of Brittney Watts, 26. The suspect, one Nkosi Thandiwe, 22, turned himself in and already has a lawyer. He has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault.
Although according to the excerpted Atlanta Journal-Constitution story below, Thandiwe murdered Watts and then stole her Prius, there was no mention of a carjacking charge, though that may have to wait for the feds.
This took place in a parking garage in the middle of the day in Atlanta's business section. The suspect seems to have been waiting for the victim. He was a security guard where she worked, no less.
You can guess at a possible motive-maybe he asked her for a date and Miss Watts said “No.”
The suspect also shot (one seriously) two women walking by the entrance to the parking garage as he drove out.
Although the security company Thandiwe worked for, AlliedBarton Security Services, maintains that he passed a background check, there is one red flag so far: A neighbor says that some of the people living in Thandiwe’s house liked to shoot off guns into the air in the backyard. And the defendant’s father appears to be a belligerent soul.
No word, of course, on whether the defendant and his father are immigrants. If they were immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa, that would entail two more red flags. First, because assuming the defendant was even using his real name, a background check would turn up nothing from prior to his arrival. Second, because South Africa is the world's murder capital, and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa is only marginally more civilized.
[Update 10:58 a.m.: According to neighbors, the Thandiwes lived in the same house for 15 years, so that a background check would have worked with the son. But a father who is belligerent when his son has allegedly shot three women, one of them fatally, is a red flag.]
The name “Thandiwe” is Xhosa for “loving one.” The Xhosa language is spoken by almost eight million people in South Africa, Botswana, and Lesotho. Not terribly “loving,” this one.
Will the defense be diminished capacity? Or “they called me the N-word?”
Family, friends and co-workers Saturday mourned the loss of a UGA graduate killed in a Midtown shooting spree, while her alleged assailant waived his rights to appear before a Fulton County magistrate.
Nkosi Thandiwe, 22, remained in the Fulton County Jail, charged with first-degree murder in a lunchtime triple shooting that left Brittney Watts, 26, of Decatur dead and two other women wounded Friday. The shooting occurred in a parking deck at 14th Street and Crescent Avenue….
The shooting occurred shortly before noon Friday. Police say Thandiwe, a security guard at the Proscenium building, was hired to protect the building where the three victims worked.
Authorities said Watts encountered the gunman as he lay in wait on the third floor of the parking deck. He fired one shot, hitting her in the neck, then got into her Toyota Prius and drove away.
Police issued an area-wide lookout for the car, including a license plate number described by witnesses, and for a man matching Thandiwe's description.
Maj. Keith Meadows, head of Atlanta Police Department's major crimes division, said investigators believed the gunman was waiting for Watts.
Atlanta PD Major Keith Meadows: Killer was "bold." (Background: Mayor Kasim Reed.)
As the gunman exited the parking garage, he fired several more shots, hitting Lauren Garcia, a 23-year-old intern for Midtown public relations firm the MSL Atlanta, and her co-worker, Tiffany Ferenczy, 24. Police believe they may have been random victims….
"All of a sudden, the car came out [of the garage entrance],” Wright said. “The car was blocked and the next thing you know, the guy comes out of the car and started shooting. That's when two of the victims got shot … my daughter and the other girl."
What followed was pandemonium, witnesses say.
Meredith Smith ran into the parking deck for cover when the shooting began.
"We were crossing the street and we heard a ‘pop, pop, pop, pop' and we ducked for cover inside the garage," Smith said. "When we came out, we saw a lady laying face-down in the middle of the street."
John Kupersmith, who works at Tin Lizzy's, heard the gunshots from the restaurant’s patio. He said rather than driving people inside, the shooting brought more people out of the nearby buildings.
“I was seating tables when I heard four to five gunshots in quick succession,” Kupersmith said. “Everybody went to look. I came out and stuck my head out onto Crescent. There was a pretty big group of people on the street.
“And a lot of people were surrounding the lady who was face-down on the ground.”
Garcia lay in the street, a bullet wound in her back, her purse and shoes strewn out across the ground in front of the entrance to the parking deck.
Ferenczy was hit in the leg….
Watts was found in the parking deck dead, a single shot to her neck, police said….
Meadows said the two survivors were taken to area hospitals where they are in "satisfactory condition" and talking with investigators.
Investigators are looking at whether the gunman was a disgruntled employee who targeted Watts.
"It was a pretty bold move of him to shoot so many people in the middle of the day," Meadows said….
[“Bold”? I can think of many words to describe a craven, racist killer who hides, and then shoots unarmed, unwary women who had no idea what to expect, but “bold” isn’t one of them.]