ATLANTA — A man was arrested on Wednesday after walking into an Atlanta supermarket carrying five guns and wearing body armor, authorities said.
The incident occurred slightly more than a week after a gunman killed eight people at three Atlanta-area spas.
Rico Marley, 22, was charged with reckless conduct, the Atlanta Police Department said on Wednesday in a news release.
The store was cleared and authorities were investigating a suspicious package in the store, WSB-TV reported.
According to the release, a man, later identified as Marley, walked into the supermarket, located in the Atlantic Station neighborhood of Atlanta, at about 1:34 p.m. EDT. Investigators said the man was holding a rifle and wearing body armor. According to the release, Marley was observed walking into a store bathroom. He was carrying two long rifles and three pistols, and a witness alerted police.
“I saw an AR-15 and I was like ... you know, this kind of startled me, again with the events that just recently happened in the grocery store up in Colorado,” witness Charles Russell told WSB. “I went to the clerk at the customer service desk working at the time and let them know. It wasn’t acted upon right away. It was actually taken a little more lightly than I thought it would be, especially with the recent events.”
Marley was arrested as he exited the bathroom, according to the release.
Russell said he did not speak to Marley in the bathroom, WSB reported, adding that the man did not attempt to hide the AR-15.
“The weapon was leaned up in the stall of the bathroom, and it was not in a case,” Russell told the television station. “I saw it clear as day. I just took my time to report it.”
Officers and paramedics are still interviewing Marley and conducting a mental health evaluation, authorities said. Police are still working to determine why he had so many guns inside the store.
Marley had a weapons carry license in his possession, WSB reported.
In a statement, Publix said that, “the safety of our associates and customers is our priority.”
“We are cooperating with local law enforcement on an incident that occurred earlier today in our Atlantic Station store,” the statement said. “We are thankful that there were no injuries, and all were able to exit the store safely.”
Cox Media Group