Atlanta shooting: Everything we know so far about suspect Raïssa Kengne and the three victims

While police are still investigating the shooter’s motives, social media posts and a lawsuit apparently filed by the suspect may offer clues

Io Dodds ,Gino Spocchia
Tuesday 23 August 2022 17:20 BST
US: Woman In Custody After Shooting In Midtown Atlanta Leaving 2 Dead, 1 Injured
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Two people are dead and one wounded in what police described as a targeted shooting spree in midtown Atlanta on Monday.

Michael Shinners, 60, and Wesley Freeman, 41, were killed in the attacks, while one female suspect was taken into custody.

She was identified by local news outlets as Raïssa Kengne, whose LinkedIn page describes her as an information security auditor living in Atlanta. Freeman was believed to be her former employer.

While police were still investigating the shooting and motives for the attack, a lawsuit apparently filed by Ms Kengne and seen by The Independent named both victims as defendants.

Here's everything we know about Raïssa Kengne and the shooting in Atlanta.

What happened?

The shooting unfolded in two separate locations in midtown Atlanta on Monday.

According to police, the first shots were fired around 1:45 at a condominium building called 1280 West, where Mr Shinners was found dead at the scene and one other victim was found injured.

He was later identified as Mike Horne, a director of engineering for Beacon Management Services, the company who operated the condominium. Mr Shinners was meanwhile identfied by reports as the building’s manager.

Residents told local broadcaster CBS 46 that the suspect lived in the apartment building, which is the same one given as Ms Kengne's address in her lawsuit. The management company later confirmed that to WSB-TV.

While police were still investigating, a second shooting occurred at nearby 1100 Peachtree Street, a prominent skyscraper close to bustling Colony Square, where Wesley Freeman was shot. He later died of his wounds in hospital.

Officers used Atlanta's network of security cameras to track the suspect, finally swooping on her at the international terminal of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport around 4pm.

Ms Rengne was first spotted by an official assigned to the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), who WSB-TV reported was spotted the suspect at the terminal building after taking a taxi. A hangun was retrieved from the woman’s purse, reports added.

In response, police locked down Colony Square, blocked streets, and told local workers to stay inside their buildings. Officials confirmed that there was no safety risk to airport passengers either.

Who is the suspect?

Police did not name the suspect on Monday, only saying she was female and releasing blurry CCTV photos of her.

However, according to CBS 46, an email sent out to employees of Atlanta's metro rail system, MARTA, named the suspect as Raïssa Kengne.

A source within the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) confirmed that name to WSB Channel 2, saying Ms Kengne had been arrested by ATF officers with a 9mm Glock pistol in her purse.

Photos released by the police force, and another posted on Twitter by radio host Brian Moote, showed a Black woman wearing glasses and a black and white striped shirt surrounded by law enforcement officers.

Atlanta police said that they believe the victims were specifically targeted, but are still looking for a motive.

“We do not believe these were random acts of violence," said interim police chief Darrin Schierbaum at a press conference on Monday afternoon.

He added that officers had recovered the gun used in the shooting at the airport.

What do we know about Raïssa Kengne?

According to official sources, not much. But a LinkedIn page apparently belonging to the suspect, and a lawsuit bearing her name, may provide some clues about her actions.

Raïssa Kengne's LinkedIn page describes her as an experienced information security auditor and a graduate of Georgia State University. Her profile picture looks similar to the photo tweeted by Mr Moote.

Moreover, in the week leading up to the shooting, Ms Kengne made a series of LinkedIn posts alleging that she had suffered retaliation for being a whistleblower at her former employer, a major accounting firm that lists its Atlanta office address as 1100 Peachtree Street.

Raïssa Kengne’s apparent LinkedIn profile photo

One post specifically named her former colleague Wesley Freeman, disparaging his work and accusing him of fraud. Other posts alleged that the company had conspired with her apartment building manager to break into her home and "delete evidence".

Both Mr Freeman and Mr Shinners were named as defendants in a 407-page legal complaint filed by Ms Kengne in May, claiming that they engaged in a sprawling conspiracy that also included her former employer, her former clients, one of her neighbours, and her own lawyers.

"This case concerns the retaliation, persecution, harassment, intimidation, threats, burglary, computer hacking, phone spoofing, and other attacks the Plaintiff was subjected to upon reporting to the relevant authorities a violation of [various finance laws]," the complaint reads.

It's not clear how grounded those claims are in reality, and neither Ms Kengne's former employer nor her building manager immediately responded to requests for comment.

In the version of the lawsuit seen by The Independent, only Ms Kengne's neighbour Justin Mungal had yet responded in detail to the lawsuit, calling her complaint a "shotgun pleading" and denying her allegations.

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