Court records show race may be motive in shooting rampage

Updated:

ATLANTA - Channel 2 Action News has learned new information about a possible motive in a deadly midtown shooting from last summer.

Police said a woman was killed and two others injured when a security guard went on a shooting rampage in a parking lot. Channel 2's Dave Huddleston obtained the 43-page lawsuit from the case that was filed in state court April 5. The documents show that race may have played a role in the shootings.

The sound of gunfire echoed off midtown buildings July 15. When it was over, marketing executive Brittany Watts had been shot in the neck and killed. Police said the shooter, security guard Nkosi Thadiwe, took off in Watts' car and fired a gun, randomly shooting two more – Lauren Garcia, who was paralyzed, and Tiffany Ferenczy.

Nine months after the shooting, lawsuits have been filed against the defendant, the security company he worked for, Allied Barton, and the owners of the building where the shooting took place.

They said Thandiwe demonstrated an intensely negative attitude toward another race, which was unnamed. About a month prior to the shooting, Thandiwe had an altercation with a visitor with the parking garage.

Documents state he assailed a visiting courier with racial epithets and had to be physically restrained by company personnel from striking and causing harm to visitors.

Company officials, lawyers and shooting victims declined to comment on the matter.

But attorney Musa Ghanayem, who is unaffiliated with the case, gave his legal perspective.

"I saw where there were a couple of instances prior where they have red flags come up; that Mr. Thandiwe has some issues as a security guard," Ghanayem said.

Thadiwe is still in Fulton County jail. His defense team has asked the court for a mental evaluation. According to documents found before the shooting, there was another act of violence, Huddleston reported.



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