The wounding of two men during a bar fight Dec. 12 was the second shooting incident this month inside the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta hotel.
A room in the 3315 Peachtree Road hotel also was the scene of a Dec. 1 shooting incident that left a man wounded in the head and a Chicago woman charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
According to the Atlanta Police Department, the Midtown man who fired a gun during the Dec. 12 fight was released with no charges after two judges declined to sign warrants. The investigation is continuing, APD said.
According to APD, the incident was captured on security video and showed the man approaching a group of people. The man began talking to a woman and was confronted by others in the group. Despite the intervention of a security guard who was an off-duty APD officer, the situation escalated, with the man drawing a .40-caliber Glock handgun and pointing it at the floor.
Based on the video and witness reports, according to APD, a group continued advancing on the man, with one person saying, “Yeah, I see you got a gun. What you gone [sic] do with it?” Two people then “rushed” the man, who fired one shot before being attacked and punched. More shots were fired.
The gunfire left a man from Griffin, Georgia, wounded in the leg and a man from Barnesville, Georgia, with three to four wounds in the stomach and back.
The man with the gun appeared to be “highly intoxicated” and suffered “severe swelling and bruising” to his face, according to an APD report. He was held in a detention center at Grady Memorial Hospital, but was released without charge and given a “courtesy ride” to the hotel to pick up his belongings, according to the report.
Jacob Hawkins, a spokesperson InterContinental Hotel Group, the hotel’s operator, did not respond directly to a question about possible security changes. He noted that the two shootings appear to be unrelated.
“In this case, security personnel worked quickly to secure the scene and protect the safety of other guests and colleagues and we’re thankful for their efforts,” Hawkins said of the Dec. 12 shooting. “The safety and security of our guests and colleagues is our top priority and we are cooperating with the Atlanta Police Department … as they conduct their investigation.”
A wave of shootings around the neighborhood has sparked community concerns this year, leading to talk of a special “gun court” and gun buy-back programs. Shootings also were a factor in the creation of a “Buckhead Security Plan” developed by government officials and private organizations.
Some of the leaders behind the security plan have expressed concern that shootings and crime are scaring customers away from Buckhead. The hotel shooting came during the same weekend as a holiday event called “Miracle on Peachtree” that organizer Livable Buckhead said was intended in part to boost hotel business, which tends to be slow in this season and now has been impacted by the pandemic.
Update: This story has been updated with comment from the hotel’s operator.