ATLANTA - Atlanta police say they have arrested people in the slaying of two men outside the Vortex restaurant earlier this year.
The announcement was made at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. Four people are now in custody, according to police.
“With tremendous investigative effort … we were able to take very small clues and get them to the point where we were able to arrest four individuals,” Atlanta Police Chief George Turner said, praising Detectives Vince Velazquez and Calvin Thomas.
Joseph Hruska, 33, and Chaitanyalila Kelsey, 32, were killed in March in the Vortex parking lot. The shooting happened shortly after two people were robbed in the nearby Virginia Highland neighborhood, also known for its bars.
Police say the men were walking home through the Vortex parking lot when it happened.
Turner said the arrests demonstrated the “the tenacity of our homicide unit.” But it was still unclear Tuesday whether police have a strong case is against the four people charged.
Channel 2’s Jessica Jaglois talked to a Good Samaritan who helped police track down the suspects after he found a wallet.
That good Samaritan told Jaglois he found the wallet on the sidewalk outside of a catholic church. He said he was close to being shot himself.
“He had a large caliber handgun just pointed at my head and said ‘give me all you got," said Mike Odier.
Odier told Jaglois he was in his driveway early in the morning on March 14t when he says two men ran up to him pointing guns.
“The kid who was holding the rifle, he looked like a baby,” Odier said.
He says, the pair took his wallet and ran. A few hours later at sunrise, Al Ramsey was walking his dog, when he found Odier's wallet in front of St. Joseph's Catholic Church.
He then turned it in to a local bar and didn't think any more about it.
“I was just trying to return the wallet and that was all I intended to do,” Ramsey said.
But last week, he heard Atlanta police wanted to speak with him and hear where he found the wallet.
On Tuesday, officers were able to arrest Charlie Baldwin, 17, Jacques Allen, 25-year-old Thomas Dosier, 25, and an unnamed 14-year-old.
“They moved forward this week because they found the guy who turned in the wallet, which connected these dots, to these dots to these dots, which allowed them to make the arrests,” said Kahle Davis.
Davis says the 15
-minute crime spree allegedly led by the four men ended in the deaths of his friends Hruska and Kelsey.
“I really feel like a big weight has been lifted off my chest and lifted off this community,” Davis said.