Smyrna police name suspect in bizarre murder

- Smyrna police have identified a man investigators are calling a suspect in the point-blank shooting of a man outside a gas station late Monday night.

It happened just before 11 p.m. at the Texaco station located in the 2600 block of South Cobb Drive. Police said 36-year-old Joseph Priester approached 39-year-old Genaro Rojas Martinez and shot him in the head.

"You could tell through the video, [the gunman] had purpose. He went up and almost point blank, shot him in the head," said Deputy Chief Harvey, who said investigators are puzzled by the nature of the attack. Investigators said it appeared the victim did not know the gunman.

"[The victim was] completely oblivious, according to the video. That's the big question mark right now," he said. "There has got to be more to this."

The cashier on duty said shortly before 11 p.m. on May 15, the victim parked at a pump, and went inside to buy gas, cigarettes, and beer; as soon as he walked outside, police said the victim appeared to be oblivious as to who the man was, walking towards him, and was shot in the head.

Investigators released surveillance of the gunman, and believe the suspect is driving a white newer model 4-door BMW.

A warrant has been issued for Priester’s arrest. He also has an outstanding warrant for parole violation for a previous assault charge. He is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information can call the Smyrna Police Department at 770-434-6666.

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