New information on Midtown triple shooting suspect - CBS46 News

Triple shooting suspect waives first appearance

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Nkosi Thandiwe, the former security guard accused in a triple shooting, waived his first court appearance Saturday morning.

Thandiwe, 22, turned himself into authorities Friday evening after he was identified by investigators as a suspect in the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Brittney Watts and the wounding of Lauren Garcia, 23, and 24-year-old Tiffany Ferenczy.

Friends and family of Garcia and Ferenczy said they are thankful both women are alive, and they are hoping she gets better soon.           

"My whole family is praying for Lauren and she has a lot of friends in this neighborhood," said Donald Piel, a friend of Garcia's family. "I was on my way home from work when my daughter called and told me. It was just stunning, I couldn't believe it."

Piel said Garcia's parents have been camped out at Grady hospital since the shooting, and he said her boyfriend, like everyone else is taking it hard.

"He's pretty shook up, but he's under control, but he's worried about her as you can imagine," said Piel.

Police said Thandiwe worked as a security guard in the same building at 1170 Peachtree Street where the three women worked.  The building is directly across the street from the parking deck at 14th Street and Crescent Avenue where the shootings took place at around noon.

Thandiwe is being held at the Fulton County Jail on one count of murder and two counts of aggravated assault.

Investigators say Thandiwe ambushed 26-year-old Brittney Watts by opening fire and killing her.

Investigators said one of the surviving victims was shot in the back and the other was shot in the ankle. Both were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in stable condition.

Police said Thandiwe fled the scene in Watts' Toyota Prius, which was recovered late Friday afternoon in southwest Atlanta. Investigators found the car on Richland Road, which is less than two miles from the suspect's home.

Neighbors of the Thandiwe family said the family of five have lived in their house for 15 years. They described the family (two parents, two boys and a girl) as nice and said they keep to themselves.

Late Friday night, AlliedBarton Security Services, who Thandiwe worked for, issued a statement saying it's shocked and saddened that one of its employees is implicated in the shootings.

According to the statement, "We can confirm the man arrested was employed with us a little less than a year. AlliedBarton conducted a thorough background screening, which included a fingerprint analysis, under the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's strict security personnel clearance requirements. His pre-employment background check revealed no prior incidents."

The company also said it's providing its full support and cooperation to the Atlanta Police Department.

Watts worked with 22squared, an independent advertising agency based in Atlanta.

According to a statement issued by 22squared Corporate Communications Director Julianna Bowman , "We are deeply saddened by today's unimaginable tragedy, and the loss of Brittney Watts, a valued member of our 22squared family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Brittney's loved ones, MSL Group and MSL's employees who were injured today."

The two survivors worked at the MSL public relations group in the Proscenium office building.  Lauren Garcia, 23, was an intern and 24-year-old Tiffany Ferenczy worked as an assistant account executive. 

Jim Tsokanos, MSL Group President of the Americas sent a statement to CBS Atlanta News early Friday evening saying the following:

"At this time, we don't know the extent of their injuries, but thankfully we know that they are both alive and in stable condition. We are cooperating with the Atlanta Police Department in their investigation. This situation is unimaginable, but we remain positive and our thoughts and prayers are with our Atlanta colleagues, their families and our staff." 

Tsokanos noted that the rest of his MSL Group employees were "100 percent accounted for and safe." 

Police said they believe Thandiwe shot the women as they headed to the parking deck in the Proscenium building.

Police have not released a possible motive for the shootings.

Stay with CBSAtlanta.com for updates on this story.

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