Two people are dead and another has been wounded in a pair of shootings in Atlanta, and a female suspect is in custody, police say.
The afternoon attacks in the Midtown chilled the metropolis as authorities initially feared an active shooter could be roaming its center, gun in-hand. But police said late in the afternoon that the attacks appeared to be targeted.
“You are safe at this time,” Mayor Andre Dickens said at a news conference. “The suspect has been apprehended and all is back to normal.”
Police tracked the suspect to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where she was taken into custody without incident about 4 p.m., Atlanta Police Department Interim Chief Darin Schierbaum said at the news conference.
The woman’s identity was not immediately released, but police confirmed that she may have worked at one of the shooting locations and said any possible connection to the address was part of the investigation.
“We do not believe these were random acts of violence,” Schierbaum said. “We do believe the individuals were targeted.”
The first shooting report was fielded at 1:46 p.m., when someone reported shots fired and a possible victim struck at 1280 W. Peachtree St. in Midtown, the interim chief said.
There, they located two shooting victims, one of whom died and one who was hospitalized, Atlanta police said in an earlier statement. The condition of the surviving victim was unknown.
While at the shooting scene, officers received a 2 p.m. call of a person shot at 1100 Peachtree St., police said. There, they found a wounded person who was also hospitalized and later died, police said.
The shooter was at large.
Because the suspect in both cases had a similar description, including the rare assertion from witnesses that the attacker was a woman, police activated their “active shooter protocol,” Schierbaum said.
“It was indicative of a possible active shooter situation,” he said of the prospect of a shooter roaming the Midtown area.
Investigators fielded tips, told those on nearby Midtown streets to stay put, and launched a citywide search, the interim chief said. They ultimately focused on the airport.
Police credited their “public safety partners” and an “extensive camera network” for the apprehension, police said in an earlier statement.
Police released two still photos of the suspect. The images show a woman wearing a striped shirt and carrying a purse in her left hand. The woman also pulled what appeared to be a rolling suitcase with her right hand.
Police initially told residents to stay off the streets between 12th St. and Peachtree Street NE and 15th Street and W. Peachtree Street NW while they searched for a suspect.
The shootings occurred near Colony Square, a popular food and entertainment center.
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