Woman pleads for help after husband shot, killed outside Pappadeaux

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Cobb County Police are searching for whoever shot and killed a husband and injured his wife in the parking lot of a popular Marietta restaurant.

Police said 48-year-old Anthony Welch and his wife, 49-year-old Cynthia Welch, were walking to their car Friday night after having dinner at Pappadeaux on Windy Hill Road when the incident occurred. Medics transported both victims to a hospital. Mr. Welch was pronounced dead upon arrival. Mrs. Welch was released after being treated for a gunshot wound in her arm.

Mrs. Welch spoke with FOX 5's Marissa Mitchell. She said she and her husband were married 25 years and were childhood sweethearts. She also said he leaves behind two adult children. She said the two were ambushed by a stranger as they walked to their car.

"All of a sudden there was someone standing in front of me, pointing in my face, saying 'give it all to me,'" Welch said. "I raised my arm to block it. He grabbed my necklace, scratched my neck and shot me. [The bullet] went through my arm and is lodged in my breast. I looked down and my husband was on the ground."

She said the entire ordeal was tragic and senseless, and the man only took a $5 necklace from her. Now all she has are memories of her husband and the last birthday card he gave her.

"I can't do that anymore because someone took that from me. He took that from me. And for what?...If you want something, work for it. Don't take from people who work hard," Welch said.

Renee Cothran, Mrs. Welch's sister, agreed the ordeal has torn their family to pieces.

"It's just a great loss. It's still surreal. We are expecting (Mr. Welch) to walk through the door or up the stairs. It is just hard," Cothran said.

Investigators confirmed they are looking into the case as a possible robbery attempt, but have not established a solid motive. They describe the suspect as a black man in his late twenties or early thirties, 6-feet-tall, slim-build. They say he was wearing a dark shirt and dark pants at the time of the incident.

Christina Pappas, owner of Pappas Restaurants, offered up her condolences. She also said the company has increased security since the incident:

"Our prayers are with the entire Welch family. We thank the Cobb County Police Department for their quick response and will do anything we can to support their investigation. Our thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones during this difficult time."

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Cobb County Police at 770.499.3945 or Atlanta Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477).