ATLANTA – The shooting that killed a man and wounded three other riders Thursday on an Atlanta public transit train appears to be a “targeted, isolated incident,” officials said.
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority police Chief Wanda Dunham said in a statement late Thursday that officers arrested a suspect in the death of Zachariah Hunnicutt at the West Lake station. She did not release the suspect’s name or details about what led to the shooting.
The shooting happened about 4:30 p.m. Thursday near the station, which was closed for several hours afterward.
Cedric Peterson told WGCL-TV that he regularly rides the train after work and the ride started off normally.
“Everybody’s sitting down. It’s quiet,” he recalled. “After we pulled off, we heard a sound like a crash, like we ran into maybe a tree limb that was on the track. Then like three seconds later, I’m hearing pop, pop, pop. I look back and see a guy’s back and see his outstretched arm. I’m like ‘Yo, man, this is a shooter.’ Then I’m running for the door.”
Peterson said a woman and her child were in front of him when they got to the door connecting cars and ran through, but the next door was jammed.
“When we finally get it open, there’s a whole crowd of people who came up behind us and we fall. We’re laying there trapped, but I don’t hear anymore shooting, so I’m feeling a little better,” he said.
He said people started moving as the train pulled into the station.
The shooter got on the train just like anyone else, he said: “He was wearing headphones and just bobbing his head. There was no argument or anything. Then I heard the first pop.”
MARTA spokesman Burton said one man died at the scene. Two men and a woman who were wounded by gunfire were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital.
Grady spokeswoman Denise Simpson said the victims there were in stable condition with wounds that were not life threatening. In addition to the three shot, one person injured in the panic was brought to the hospital, she said.
Beginning Friday, MARTA will increase the number of officers throughout the system, Dunham said.
“We want to reassure all of our riders that the security of our passengers remains our number one priority,” MARTA CEO Keith Parker said in a statement.
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