Paralegal gunned down in DeKalb County home

- A DeKalb County woman becomes the victim of a drive-by shooting as she played her bass guitar during band practice. Friday night, police have ramped up their search for Joanna Steed's killers.

The paralegal was in the basement of a home off Columbia Drive Wednesday night, when someone fired several shots.

“She was a great lady. We miss her. We miss her smile and we wish she was here,” said John Bates, the victim’s friend.

Steed was much more than a paralegal at the Bates and Bates Law Firm in northwest Atlanta. Attorney John Bates said she was more like a sister whose murder Wednesday night in a DeKalb County home is impossible to comprehend.

“This is a family member, a friend, that was taken from us in a violent manner and we want some justice for her,” said Bates.

Investigators said Steed was in the basement of a home on Shannon Ridge Court playing the bass guitar with her band when at least two people in a car pulled up and opened fire. A bullet that pierced the basement window struck the 43-year-old Atlanta woman.

Sgt. Emmanuel McCown said Steed was visiting the home off of Columbia Drive and said her friends who live here gave no indication they have had any trouble here before the shooting.

As one of Steed's guitars hangs in the lobby of the firm where she worked for 18 years, colleagues and friends hope for solid tips that lead to a quick arrest.

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