Lenox Square shooting: Security guard recovering, two teens in custody

Police in Atlanta said a security guard was critically injured and two 15-year-olds were shot when they attempted to enter the Apple store at Lenox Square hours after Sunday. This was the third shooting at a metro Atlanta shopping mall in the past week.

On Monday, Chief Deputy Hampton Charles posted on social media that investigators are continuing to review videos of the incident, including the ones that show the driver who possibly brought the teens to the mall. The search for a potential driver is ongoing, while the girl and boy suspects are currently in custody at a youth detention center. The guard who was injured on Monday is now recovering.

Meanwhile, there have been a total of 12 fatal shootings near or at shopping centers in the Atlanta metro area since October. According to the police, two other individuals were injured in the shooting in DeKalb, including the alleged gunman, and a woman was both injured and killed. Shots were fired approximately 20 miles away from The Gallery at South DeKalb on Monday afternoon.

Simon Property Group possesses Phipps and Lenox, distinguished shopping locations in the center of Buckhead. A child of seven years old was fatally shot when gunfire broke out near Phipps Plaza a few days prior to the Christmas holiday. The implementation of security measures, like a device to identify weapons, at the primary entrance of the shopping center was prompted by the majority of the occurrences, in which law enforcement has made arrests. As per the authorities, Lenox Square experienced at least six incidents of gun violence in 2020, including a homicide in March that resulted in the death of a man from Tennessee.

In a statement on Monday, a representative from Lenox expressed, “We are unable to locate words powerful enough to denounce this aggressive and unwarranted act towards a respected member of our security personnel who was conducting after-hours surveillance around the shopping center.” “Our thoughts are with him as we hope for his complete recuperation, and our sympathies are with this officer who was savagely assaulted.”

During business hours, at least 14 off-duty Atlanta police officers and more than 10 private security officers monitor the property around the mall, using specially trained K-9 patrols and over 900 surveillance cameras for firearm detection, according to a recent statement.

Authorities stated that the individuals arrived following the closure of Lenox on Sunday. Around 8:30 p.M., The sound of gunshots was reported, over two hours after the shopping center shut down. Law enforcement indicated that the shooting incident occurred in the vicinity of the mall.

Atlanta police Deputy Chief Timothy Peek informed reporters at the location that upon arrival, witnesses assisted in providing initial medical assistance to the security guard prior to the arrival of emergency personnel.

Authorities stated that the individuals were apprehended within approximately 10 minutes at a nearby hotel. Prior to facing charges, they were transported to the police headquarters for interrogation.

The authorities stated that the individuals, whose identities were not disclosed, were apprehended and accused of attempting to commit murder. Additionally, the adolescents are confronting allegations of armed robbery, aggravated assault, altering evidence, and offenses related to firearms.

Peek stated that there were no other casualties in the occurrence. The security officer, a male in his early forties, was receiving medical attention at a hospital, where he was in a critical yet stable state on Monday afternoon.

“We are optimistic that he will definitely recover from his injuries,” he stated.

Lia Beatty, an Atlanta native who relocated to Tampa approximately five years ago, recounted to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she ran and quickly fetched her friend for protection upon hearing gunshots while dining at True Food Kitchen. Some diners took cover under tables during the incident.

Beatty stated on Monday, “I simply had the realization, ‘Oh my Goodness, we need to leave this place.'” I had the impression, “‘This is not going to occur.'” And I witnessed my friend’s four children and my four children.

Beatty’s companion suffered a fractured hip during the autumn season. They sought medical assistance at Northside Hospital after the women departed. The mall vicinity was cordoned off during the inquiry. For approximately two hours, the duo patiently waited near a waste container. When her friend stumbled, Beatty swiftly lifted and transported her to a nearby dumpster. With uncertainty looming about the possibility of additional gunfire, the two women commenced running and taking cover.

On Monday afternoon, the pair were returning to Florida, still rattled from the traumatic experience.

“I was born and raised in this area. I grew up nearby and we frequently visited Buckhead,” Beatty stated. “It’s unbelievable.”

The shooting that occurred on Sunday were promptly addressed by officers stationed inside Lenox, a police mini-precinct. This was made possible due to the implementation of a strategic operation aimed at combating summer crimes, as announced by Chief Rodney Bryant of the Atlanta police just days after the incident at the mall.

Lenox’s ability to promptly apprehend the individuals involved in the shooting on Sunday is attributed to the plan. Assistant Police Chief Todd Coyt informed the public safety committee of the city council on Monday that the department’s summer strategy is effectively “moving the needle” in its endeavors to combat violent crime.

Julian Michael Bond, a City Councilman from Atlanta, stated that if adults ask and shoot in the mall, they will be charged by the 15-year-olds, as there have been numerous calls from concerned individuals.

“People have valued the prompt and swift response regarding the capture of the culprits,” Bond expressed.

Several metro authorities are examining recent incidents of shootings at malls.

A 28-year-old man was taken to the hospital after being shot in the inner thigh. According to police, more than two dozen shots were fired just before 2:30 p.M. Outside Macy’s, resulting in the detention of seven individuals. On Thursday, an argument between two groups inside Southlake Mall escalated in the parking lot before gunfire erupted, sending one man to the hospital.

Later that evening, Cody Wilson, a 19-year-old from Paulding County, was arrested and faces a felony weapons charge related to the incident.

Police in Atlanta said two men were shot inside Greenbriar Mall parking lot after an argument spilled into the area. The victims told police that the first gunman confronted them inside the southwest Atlanta mall before firing multiple shots. Shortly after 5 p.M., Officers responded and found both men with a single gunshot wound. The men were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in stable condition, according to police.


Gunshots have been discharged on four occasions in the previous week at shopping centers in metro Atlanta.

On Monday, a shooting occurred in close proximity to The Gallery at South DeKalb, which led to three individuals being injured, including an off-duty deputy from the DeKalb County sheriff’s department.

On Sunday, a security guard at Lenox Square was severely injured when teenagers began shooting.

On Thursday, a gentleman sustained injuries when gunshots were discharged in the parking area of Southlake Mall located in Morrow.

On June 8th, two individuals were shot following a dispute inside Greenbriar Mall that escalated into the parking area.