Instacart shopper reports man in Atlanta grocery store with 6 guns, body armor


This photo provided by the Atlanta Police Department shows weapons Rico Marley was armed with at the time of his arrest on Wednesday, March 24, 2021. Authorities say Marley, who walked into an Atlanta grocery store with multiple guns and body armor, was spotted by a witness who immediately became suspicious and alerted management. (Atlanta Police Department via AP)

ATLANTA (NewsNation Now) — Charles Russell, an Instacart worker, is being hailed a hero for helping officers to stop a man wearing body armor and carrying a half-dozen guns from roaming through a Publix grocery store Wednesday, police said.

Russell told police heard “clicking sounds,” and it sounded to him like someone was loading weapons inside a restroom stall. He then saw an an “AR-15-style rifle” leaning against the wall.

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The new details are included in police incident reports released Thursday by Atlanta police. The man’s intentions are not explained in the reports.

When two Atlanta police officers arrived, one grabbed a rifle from his patrol car, put on a ballistic helmet and went into the store, where he apparently surprised the armed man as he came around the corner from the restroom.

“I immediately ordered the accused to put his hands up and don’t move to which he complied,” the officer wrote in his report. “The accused appeared to be surprised when he saw us that close to him.”

This Wednesday, March 24, 2021, booking photo provided by the Fulton County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office shows Rico Marley. Authorities say police arrested Marley, who walked into an Atlanta grocery store with multiple guns and body armor, just days after the mass shooting at a Colorado supermarket. (Fulton County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Officers then arrested Rico Marley, 22, without a shot being fired.

The pistols he had were loaded with rounds in chambers, and a revolver was also fully loaded, the officer wrote. He then looked inside Marley’s bag and found a loaded AR-15-style rifle and a loaded shotgun, said the officer, who noted that the suspect was wearing body armor.

Marley waived his initial court hearing Thursday. He’s charged with five counts of criminal attempt to commit a felony; and six counts of possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, police said.

Investigators also said Marley was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation. It’s unclear whether he had an attorney.

Marley’s arrest happened days after the mass shooting at a colorado supermarket and the fatal shootings at three spa businesses in the Atlanta area.

Police have been working to determine what exactly Marley planned to do with the arsenal. There were no reports of Marley pointing a weapon or using a weapon before authorities arrived.

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