The man, who has since been identified by the Atlanta Police Department as 22-year-old Rico Marley, was confirmed to have been taken to the Fulton County Jail on Wednesday afternoon for processing. The body armor and guns—described in an APD news release as two long guns and three pistols—were be entered into APD evidence.
Authorities were called to a Publix grocery store at Atlantic Station at 1:34 p.m. local time, per police. When officers arrived, they spoke with with a member of management who informed them that a male “armed with a rifle” had walked into the store and entered the bathroom. Once the male—later identified as Marley—came out of the bathroom, he was detained.
According to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, authorities were also investigating what was described as a “suspicious package” found in the parking deck, with Atlantic Station authorities noting to shut down multiple interior streets (in addition to the parking deck itself) at police’s request. It’s not clear, however, whether the reported suspicious package and the man’s arrest were related incidents.
When reached for additional comment, an APD spokesperson directed Complex to a publicly available news release on Marley’s arrest which notes the investigation remains ongoing. In a statement to Complex via email early Wednesday, a Publix spokesperson confirmed the store was open and that no injuries had occurred:
“At Publix, the safety of our associates and customers is our priority. We are cooperating with local law enforcement on an incident that occurred on Wednesday in our Atlantic Station store. We are thankful that there were no injuries, and all were able to exit the store safely. The store is currently open.”
WSB-TV reporter Matt Johnson shared a picture of the guns and related items found on the suspect, notably disputing police’s report of having discovered five guns and body armor. According to Johnson, and as seen in his picture, “there appears to be one more handgun.” At the time of this writing, however, APD was still stating the man was found with five guns.
Charles Russell, the witness who spotted Marley inside the Public bathroom and notified employees and police, told WSB-TV that seeing the man with what he said was an AR-15 “startled” him in light of the recent mass shooting in Colorado.
Fulton County Jail records viewed by Complex showed a Rico Marley who was booked on March 25 with multiple charges including several counts of possession of firearm or knife during commission of or attempt to commit certain felonies and criminal attempt to commit a felony.
Earlier this month, eight people—including six Asian women—were killed during a series of three shootings at Atlanta-area spas and massage parlors.