ATLANTA — Police increased the reward to $20,000 to find the people responsible for shooting and killing the manager at a popular restaurant earlier this month.
Chelsea Beller, 29, was closing up at Barcelona Wine Bar in West Midtown when several armed robbers stormed into the restaurant, tied up employees with electrical tape and then led Beller, the manager, to the safe upstairs. They then shot her and rushed out of the restaurant.
Beller died on the way to the hospital.
Atlanta police confirmed Monday to Channel 2's Aaron Diamant that they are following leads they hope will point them to the killers. Police say they recovered bloody clothing following the deadly robbery.
Investigators believe at least one of the killers may have suffered serious cuts from a razor wire fence after leaving the scene in a carjacked vehicle.
They are sending the blood evidence to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation lab for DNA analysis, and believe the results will lead them to the killers.
Last week, Diamant exclusively obtained emails between Beller and two other managers at the restaurant about security concerns. Those emails were sent nearly eight months before the deadly robbery.
"It's just a shame that this is a multimillion dollar company that didn't put in place real security," former manager Tim Maldonado said.
A legal expert said the deadly robbery opened the restaurant up to civil lawsuits.
“When there’s a fatality, then the next question is always, 'Is there a wrongful death suit that’s associated with that?' Which is potentially what the family could bring," said Jessica Cino, with Georgia State University's School of Law.
One of the emails shows upper management did take workers' concerns to the private security firm, which promised to take action.
"All of that is sort of part of that question of how much is enough that we can show that you’ve taken ordinary care to make this property safe for the employees and your customers," Cino said.
Monday evening, Barcelona's general manager sent Diamant a statement saying, “Our team returned to work with heavy hearts on Saturday. This remains a difficult time for all. We have been working closely with both the police and Crime Stoppers and continue to contribute towards the reward for information."
If you have any information about the suspects, call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477. You can remain anonymous.
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