ATLANTA - An 18-year-old faces charges after police say he stormed into a family's home and opened fire as a mother ran out the door with her baby.
Only Channel 2 Action News was there as Atlanta police and U.S. marshals took Brandon Jerome Smith into custody Thursday night for his involvement in the violent home invasion on Sumter Street last weekend.
Mike Lash was shot twice in the leg Sunday night as he tried to stop four men who broke into his home. The gunman then started shooting at his wife, Whitney Lash, as she ran for help with her 6-month-old baby in her arms.
Family members expressed their relief Friday after learning of Smith's arrest.
One family member told Channel 2’s Amy Napier Viteri that Mike Lash has already forgiven the man police say shot him twice right in front of his home as he tried to keep the attackers away from his wife and kids inside.
Police say they got dozens of tips that led them to one suspect who happened to be walking to a friend’s house
Family members released a photo of Mike Lash with his 2-year-old son Friday, despite the scar and cast on Lash's right leg.
“He wants justice. He wants that for sure. He doesn't want anyone else to be hurt,” said Lash's father-in-law, Tim Huffman.
Channel 2 Action News had the only camera there on Sells Avenue and Peeples Street in southwest Atlanta as officers arrested Smith.
Atlanta Police Chief George Turner says investigators identified Smith as the shooter with help from Crime Stoppers tips. Turner said the teen was still carrying the .40-caliber handgun used in the shooting of Lash.
“As a father you want to be a protector and I'm thankful that my son-in-law stepped up in that moment,” Huffman told Viteri.
Police say Smith shot Lash twice in the leg as Whitney frantically called 911.
“That was one of the hardest things, to listen to her voice and her screams about the baby,” Huffman told Viteri. “It's just the evil of it, the kind of meaningless evil.”
Atlanta police are still looking for three more suspects in the attack and are encouraging those three to come forward.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477. You can also submit a tip online.