ATLANTA - A group of suspected gang members was surrounded by thirty police officers who swarmed the Lenox Square parking lot to make the arrests. The takedown was captured on officer bodycam.
It was a difficult operation, said Atlanta Police Department Zone 2 Commander Barry Shaw because officers were fully aware that at least some of the suspects had guns. The challenge was to take them into custody without harming mall shoppers or employees.
A decision was made by the crime suppression unit to stage by two vehicles, both believed to have been stolen hours earlier and wait for five men and one woman to leave the mall.
Police knew where the group was as security watched mall cameras. And the suspects did something that was helpful. Within an hour of the last alleged crime, police say, the group decided to go shopping. They visited a sporting goods store and used one of the victim's credit cards to purchase shoes.
When police ran criminal histories, they found ATF agents were in hot pursuit. Agents flew from Virginia, where all the suspects have residency, to confer with Atlanta authorities.