Police have detained a man from Atlanta Publix Supermarket, who was reportedly carrying multiple weapons including body armor on Wednesday. The suspect has been identified as 22-year-old Rico Marley. He was taken into custody and charged with reckless conduct. His firearms and armor were confiscated as evidence.
Police got a call from one of the store employees after seeing Marley moving suspiciously inside the supermarket. Marley's arrest comes just two days after mass shooting at a Colorado supermarket killed 10 people. Police have launched an investigation and are questioning Marley to ascertain if he had entered the supermarket with the intention of shooting.
Police responded to emergency calls from the store at Atlantic Station at around 1:35 pm on Wednesday. Officers were met by a manager who told them that Marley had entered the store while carrying a rifle before going into a bathroom. Marley was immediately located and detained after he exited the bathroom.
During the investigation, officers recovered five firearms (two long guns and three pistols) and body armor, according to the Atlanta Police Department. "A witness observed the male and alerted store management, who then notified police," Atlanta police spokesman Officer Anthony Grant said in a "preliminary information" statement obtained by the Washington Examiner.
Also, emergency medical services were at the scene conducting a mental health evaluation of Marley, Grant added. The firearms, body armor and property recovered during the investigation will be placed into APD evidence. Marley is being questioned with the intention of transporting him to Fulton County Jail for further processing as police continues to look for Marley's motive behind carrying the huge pile of firearms.
Police were also investigating a "suspicious package" at the same store, although it was not clear whether it was related to the Marley incident, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In an email message shared by a resident at Atlantic Station, they were told, "At the request of APD, due to a suspicious package, Atlantic Station is immediately shutting down the Atlantic Station district and the parking deck." The area has been evacuated and they are investigating. Atlanta police said.
The incident comes just two days after a 21-year-old Syrian-born gunman Ahmad Al Aliwi Al-Issa killed 10 people at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, and just a week after a shooter killed eight people at multiple spas in the Atlanta area. Publix is one of the many retailers who in 2019 made a rule that customers not openly carry guns in their stores in states where open carry is legal.