One man was found shot to death and another wounded after firefighters responded to the scene of a burning condominium early Friday morning in DeKalb County. A pregnant woman was also injured after she jumped out a window to escape the flames, police said.
The DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the victim as William Owens, of Clarkston. So far, police are still trying to determine who shot the man and why. They are also trying to determine how the other man got shot. He is expected to survive, police said.
Around 2:30 a.m. someone called 911 to report a fire at Brannon Hills Condos off Memorial Drive, according to DeKalb County police. Minutes later, several people called 911 to report that multiple shots were being fired in the same location, police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said.
Firefighters arrived to find 70 percent of the building engulfed in flames, Parish said. They began battling the blaze from outside, she said.
DeKalb fire Capt. Eric Jackson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that it was a two-alarm fire.
“We literally had fire burning from one end of the building to the other,” Jackson said.
Police also arrived and found a man suffering from a gunshot wound, Parish said. She did not say where the man was shot, but his injury was not considered to be serious she said.
Firefighters treated the pregnant woman who jumped out the window to escape the flames, officials said. She and the man who was shot shared a unit, according to media reports.
The pregnant woman suffered a broken leg when she jumped from a second-story condo, Jackson told the AJC. The wounded man was found in the same unit, the paper reported. The woman and the man are being treated at an area hospital for their injuries, Jackson said.
A short time later, police found the third victim alongside the building, Parish said. The man had been shot multiple times and was already dead by the time he was found, she said.
Homicide detectives were working with fire investigators and federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents to investigate the incident. But as of late Friday there were no details surrounding the circumstances of what happened. Still, investigators believe the fire was intentional.
“This is a horrific incident,” DeKalb County Public Safety Director Cedric Alexander said at a news conference hours after the predawn fire and shooting. “We are certain this is arson.”
Twenty-two people were displaced because eight units burned, Alexander said.