• $2,500 reward offered for information on who killed paralegal in drive-by shooting

    By: Tom Regan

    Updated:

    DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Police are offering a $2,500 reward for anyone who has information leading to who killed an esteemed paralegal in a drive-by shooting Wednesday night.

    Channel 2's Tom Regan was in DeKalb County Friday morning as DeKalb police Sgt. Emanuel McCowan gave an update the death of Joanna Steed, 43. McCowan said at this point, they have no suspects and no motive. They do believe there was more than one shooter. 

    "We're asking for the public's help. If they've seen anything or anyone, please call Crime Stoppers or the DeKalb County Police Department," McCowan said. 

    DeKalb County police say two cars pulled into a cul-de-sac on Shannon Ridge Court in Decatur and opened fire. 

    Steed was at a friend's home playing bass with her band when a bullet flew through a downstairs window and struck her in the head. She was rushed to Grady Hospital, where she died. 

    McCowan said they have yet to find witnesses to or video of the crime and don't have a description of the cars. He said it's possible the house was targeted. 

    On Friday, Regan learned more details about what happened that day from Steed's close friends and coworkers. Andrea Bates, a partner at the intellectual property law firm Steed worked at, said Steed had worked at the firm for nearly 20 years, helping her build her business as a paralegal, manager and close friend. 

    Bates said Steed unwound from her high-stress job by playing bass and that she had left work a little early that day for band practice. 

    "Joanna was one of the most positive people I've ever met," Bates said. "She was amazingly intelligent, astute, caring, and just a true friend. We will never be able to recover from the loss of this amazing person."

    Lindsay Haigh said she had been friends with Steed for more than a decade. Haigh said her friend's death is so shocking, it's almost hard to even process. 

    "When it happens, you don't know what to do next. You can't put one foot in front of the other," Haigh said. "The world is a little dimmer today because she is not here."

    Bates said she won't rest until her friend's killer is found. 

    "We are not going to drop this," Bates said. "We will find out who did this and we will get justice for my friend."


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    On Wednesday, Regan spoke to another member of the band who said a bullet flew past his head as he played drums. The people who live in the house, who did not want to go on camera, told Regan they are so scared, they are moving out to stay with friends until the suspects are caught. 

    A neighbor who heard the gunshots, Larry Lopez, said it sounded like the suspects had at least two different guns. He said he immediately wondered if it had to do with a strange man he'd seen staring at the house the day before. 

     "It looked like he was looking for somebody," Lopez said. "He had an angry look on his face, like he was waiting for someone to show up."

    Regan also spoke with Steed's boss, John Bates, who said she was a dedicated employee and friend.

    "She always greeted you with a smile and was just a consummate professional. We miss and we feel like she's just been taken away from us," Bates said. "And our heart certainly goes out to her family."

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