Sandy Springs police are investigating a murder that occurred at the Residences at Morgan Falls less than two weeks after City Council received an update on violent crimes in apartment complexes.

Police officers allege a botched drug deal on the night of April 14 resulted in the shooting death of 28-year-old Patrick Placide of Atlanta. His cousin, Jeanlouis Willy, 28, of Roswell, was wounded.

“This is crazy,” City Councilman John Paulson said. “We have gunfights among drug dealers in Sandy Springs … this is something we need to work to minimize and eliminate.”

Police say 58 percent of the city’s violent crime in 2011 emanated from the city’s 71 apartment complexes. Police have distributed a list to the media and to the council naming the 10 apartments that generated the most calls in 2010 and 2011.

Police placed the information in two categories, one based on the number of calls and the other based on the ratio of incidents to every 100 apartment units. Some complexes appear on both lists.

The Residences at Morgan Falls is not on either list.

Police report some owners have taken steps to tighten security on their properties. The police have implemented programs targeted at reducing crime, measures that include directed uniformed patrols, residential checks and traffic enforcement. City code inspectors also are increasing the pressure.

Council members say the city will continue to look at ways to address the problem.

The Sandy Springs Reporter attempted to contact the complexes named on the Police Department’s list. A few phone numbers were unavailable. Representatives of most complexes did not return messages seeking comment.

The one exception was the management of 550 Abernathy. Police say the complex’s management took decisive action to try to create a safer environment for residents, severing ties with the Art Institute of Atlanta, which housed 89 students there.

Lara Field, regional manager for 550 Abernathy, said while “crime doesn’t have an address,” the management is working to strengthen its ties with the police department and build a stronger sense of community between tenants. The goal is to get neighbors to look out for one another, in addition to other security measures.

“The manager on site has a very close relationship with a couple of the officers who have really just been great to us,” Field said. “We have worked with them very closely and we want to continue that relationship.”

Police also said the Reserve at Ridgewood is undergoing a construction and renovation project and Edgewater at Sandy Springs is under new management and will receive a $4 million to $5 million upgrade.

Councilwoman Dianne Fries thinks the issue of apartment crime may come up again at a future work session.

“We know that there’s an issue,” Fries said. “You’ve got drugs and gangs and along with that is some really ugly stuff. But I am very sure that the police department is all over this.”

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of Decaturish.com