CUMBERLAND — Cobb Police say the suspected shooter who opened fire in a mall parking lot killed himself at an East Point home while his victim died at a local hospital from her injuries.
At 2:22 p.m. Monday afternoon, Cobb Police Sgt. Dana Pierce said the 911 center received multiple emergency calls about a woman, Violet Lambert, 55, of Atlanta, who had been shot outside Cumberland Mall near the intersection of Cobb Parkway and Interstate 285.
Lambert, who eyewitnesses say was shot in the face, was transported by ambulance to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital where she died from her injuries.
On Monday afternoon Danny Wray Brown, 59, of East Point, fired at the first bystander who tried to assist Lambert.
“We are very relieved he was not injured,” Pierce said about the unidentified man who “attempted to do the right thing” at that moment.
Brown then fled the scene in a white van with a ladder on top, Pierce said.
“He very casually drove from this area after the shooting,” Pierce said Monday afternoon at the crime scene.
Cobb Police began chasing down leads on the white van. After obtaining a search warrant, with the assistance of East Point Police and Fulton County S.W.A.T., Pierce said detectives discovered Brown’s body with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“We are convinced he is the shooter,” Pierce said.
The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office has assumed jurisdiction of the body and is expected to confirm the manner and cause of his death.
Pierce did confirm Tuesday afternoon that Lambert and Brown were acquaintances, who did not live together. Before the shooting, investigators believe Brown targeted Lambert as she came out of the store and the verbal argument quickly became deadly.
“Obviously it is very disturbing to all,” said Pierce, but he hopes knowledge that the shooting was an isolated incident can put the community, the Cumberland Mall management and eye witnesses at ease.
Other mall crime scenes
Lines of yellow tape partitioned off a large portion of the parking lot on the west side of Cumberland Mall Monday afternoon. Several Cobb Police officers, a fire truck, Cumberland mall security personnel and a Georgia State Trooper were outside the doors to the department store.
While attempting to secure the area and gather information, Cobb Police investigators were taking pictures of every inch of evidence, meaning several women and at least one family with small children were told it could take a few hours until their vehicles could be driven away from the scene.
Cobb Police are also investigating an apparent murder-suicide that took place near a mall early Saturday morning in Kennesaw.
Zakeem Berry, 23, of Kennesaw was shot and killed in the roadway outside of a Red Lobster near Town Center Mall on George Busbee Parkway in Kennesaw.
Cobb Police said the suspect, 23-year-old Richard Holcomb of Rydal, gunned down an on-duty mall security officer before fatally shooting himself near the scene.
On Black Friday in November 2011 Rosano Wensly Bundel, 28, of Douglasville, gunned down another man outside Cumberland Mall.
In May 2012 a Cobb County judge handed down a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Cobb Police take eyewitness accounts
At the crime scene Monday, police interviewed Justin Johnson, 28, and Tash Moore, 27, who said they drove from Norcross to Cumberland to shop at a different mall that day.
Johnson and Moore were just coming out of the mall when they heard a loud boom, which Johnson originally thought was a car wreck or a public bus hitting something.
That was until Johnson said “we saw a bunch of people running.” The couple ran to their car and began driving through the parking lot.
“We were going to get out,” Johnson said.
Then the couple saw a woman on the ground, so they got out of the car to assist. By the time Moore had placed a call to 911, Cobb Police were already arriving at the scene.
Another witness, Trina Proctor, 36, of Marietta, said she shops at the Cumberland Mall at least twice a week. She specifically came to Macy’s Monday afternoon to purchase shoes.
Proctor arrived at about 2:15 p.m. and parked in the lot near the store’s direct entrance. As she walked into the mall, Proctor said she noticed a couple in the parking lot.
The man swung open his door aggressively and hit the car parked next to them, Proctor said.
After shopping for 30 minutes, Proctor remembered the couple, who she described as moseying about but not interested in shopping. So Proctor shared what she had seen just moments before the shooting with Cobb Police.