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Man arrested after taking 5 guns, body armor into Publix store in Atlanta, police say

A man was arrested after walking into a Publix grocery store in Atlanta with five guns and body armor. (Viorel Margineanu/Dreamstime/TNS)

A man was arrested Wednesday afternoon after walking into a Publix grocery store in the Atlanta neighborhood of Atlantic Station with five guns and body armor, authorities said.

Police were called to the grocery store just after 1:30 p.m. local time and met with a manager who told them a man came in with a rifle and headed straight toward a bathroom, Atlanta police spokesman Officer Anthony Grant said.

“A witness observed the male and alerted store management, who then notified police,” Grant told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Officers at the scene spotted the man leaving the bathroom and quickly took him into custody. According to police, his weapons included two long guns and three pistols, all of which were concealed on his person. Police identified the man as 22-year-old Rico Marley and said he has been charged with reckless conduct.

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.

Wednesday’s incident comes just two days after a gunman opened fire inside a Colorado supermarket, killing 10 people, including a police officer.

Several police cars were parked at Atlantic Station as officers continued the investigation. Atlantic Drive, one of the main surface streets that runs in front of Publix, is closed to traffic by gates and security guards.

Shoppers were being turned away as they approached the grocery store, but there were still plenty of people milling about the open-air mall. Most of those at Atlantic Station appeared unaware of the situation at the Publix, as nearby restaurants served guests on patios and shops remained open.

Police are also investigating a “suspicious package” that was discovered at Atlantic Station, Officer TaSheena Brown said. It wasn’t immediately clear if the package was related to Marley’s arrest.

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© 2021 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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