Gwinnett County

Teen accused in deadly business shooting also person of interest in stabbing death

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Two Gwinnett County murders within two weeks of each other are now being potentially linked to one teenager. One involved a deadly workplace shooting Friday and the other a July stabbing death miles down the road.

Gwinnett County police say 18-year-old Joshua Brandt targeted a Direct Technologies employee at the warehouse Friday afternoon. Warrants filed in court show 38-year-old James Ross was shot multiple times in the upper torso.

Brandt was taken into custody at 10 a.m. Saturday. He has been charged with felony murder and aggravated assault.

“Brandt worked at the business at least as a temp worker. So we believe he had some type of affiliation with the victim at some point,” Gwinnett Cpl. Collin Flynn said.


Detectives say it is unclear why Brandt showed up at the warehouse Friday as he wasn’t apparently scheduled to work.

Gwinnett police told Channel 2′s Tony Thomas a break in their case came quickly when Suwanee police called, giving them information about Brandt.

Suwanee detectives suspected Brandt stabbed 18-year-old and former North Gwinnett High School classmate Slade Petty to death last month.

The two murder scenes are just two miles apart.

“We don’t know the motive of why he chose to do this,” Flynn said. “What I can tell you is that there is a small criminal history, but why he chose to do this, we aren’t sure.”

A Suwanee police lieutenant confirmed to Thomas that have been looking at Brandt as a suspect in the Petty murder for several days. No charges have been filed so far.

Suwanee police are hoping now that Brandt is behind bars, someone who might have been scared to talk earlier will come forward now.