A Michigan man suffering a gunshot wound showed up at Buckhead’s Piedmont Hospital May 26, saying that an SUV he rode in was fired upon by another vehicle on Ga. 400. But police are investigating a connection to gunfire at a nearby intersection that left 16 rifle shells on the street, according to an Atlanta Police Department report.
While looting in Buckhead during riots last week shocked the city, community leaders at a recent Neighborhood Planning Unit B meeting said residents are more worried about a string of shootings and gunfire, where the May 26 incident was just a part.
That May 26 gunfire in the area of Pharr Road and Grandview Avenue frightened Garden Hills neighbors. It came 11 days after a bizarre series of three shots-fired incidents at the Allure in Buckhead Village apartments at that intersection, including a masked gunman firing on a security officer and 11 bullets fired into a unit’s door. Buckhead has also seen two homicides by gunfire on the street this month, one unsolved near the Peachtree Battle Shopping Center and one on Habersham Road where a teenager is charged with murder in what APD says may have been a robbery.
The May 26 gunfire incident’s unexpected twists were described in an APD report. The police investigation began around 2:43 a.m. with a call for shots fired in the area of a gas station at 345 Pharr Road. There, a 911 caller and an officer found 16 .223-caliber casings, a type of round typically used in rifles. Also found was a cellphone with a cracked screen.
A unit and APD cameras described a Ford Mustang leaving the area at a high rate of speed around the time of the gunfire.
While the officer headed to the station to lock up the evidence, a person-shot call came at 3:40 a.m. at Piedmont Hospital that began changing the investigation.
Citing surveillance video and a police officer on scene, the APD report says a 2020 Ford Expedition containing four men arrived at the hospital at 3:36 a.m. One of the men was suffering a gunshot wound in the buttocks; he was helped inside by two of the others.
The fourth man “grabbed what appeared to be money from the victim,” according to the report, then left the scene by getting into a black BMW that pulled up at 3:41 a.m. The BMW was joined by a silver Chrysler 200 and a “bright-colored” — possibly yellow or lime-green — Ford Mustang.
The shooting victim was identified as a resident of Romulus, Michigan, and the driver as a resident of Redford Township, Michigan — both areas in metro Detroit.
According to the report, the driver said that at the time of the shooting, the men were driving from an AirBnb rental property in Sandy Springs to a nightclub on Buckhead’s Piedmont Road. Their vehicle was on Ga. 400, the driver said, “when someone pulled up next to them and there was a male hanging out of the window shooting at them.” The driver described a silver-colored vehicle.
APD said the Ford Expedition had a bullet “defect” in the rear passenger-side door and the front tire on that side was flat.
The report says that a license-plate reader camera placed the Expedition on Roswell Road near Pharr Road at 3:29 a.m. APD sought search warrants for the Expedition and for the cellphone found on Pharr.