Suspect in Atlanta shooting spree dead
9 slain, 12 injured in city; 3 bodies found at suburban apartment
July 29, 1999
ATLANTA (CNN) -- The suspect in shootings that left 12 people dead in two Atlanta office buildings and in an apartment south of Atlanta killed himself after being pulled over by police in Acworth, Georgia, 30 miles north of Atlanta, officials say.
According to Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell, Mark O. Barton, 44 offered no resistance.
Barton went on a shooting rampage at two Atlanta brokerage offices Thursday afternoon, killing nine people and injuring 12 others.
Less than an hour later, the bodies of three relatives of the suspect were found in his apartment in Stockbridge, a suburb southeast of Atlanta, Detective Willy Rosser said.
Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell said authorities believe the shootings in Stockbridge preceded the shootings in Atlanta and may have taken place several days ago. He said the slayings are believed to be linked and that the victims may be Barton's wife and children.
The coroner in Henry County, where Stockbridge is located, identified the victims as a 27-year-old woman, a 12-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl.
CNN has also learned that Barton's first wife and mother-in- law -- Debra Spivey Barton, 36, and Eloise Spivey, 59 -- were hacked to death in a trailer near Cedar Bluff, Alabama, in 1993.
Cherokee County Sheriff Roy Wynn said no charges were ever filed in the case, but Barton was the lone suspect.
Thursday's shootings began about 3 p.m. at a day-trading firm at 3500 Piedmont Road, in the heart of the upscale Buckhead business district, killing four people. Campbell said Barton then went across the street to the building at 3522 Piedmont Road and killed five more people.
The mayor said a 9 mm handgun and a .45-caliber handgun were used in the shootings.
Campbell said Barton is a former chemist who went into day trading stock and was concerned about financial losses. Witnesses reported that Barton came into one of the trading offices where he once worked, had a brief conversation with the people inside noting that the stock market was down and then began shooting, Campbell said.
The rampage was the worst mass shooting in Atlanta's history. It came just two weeks after seven members of an extended family died in a murder-suicide in the city.
"We ask all of the people of Atlanta to pray for the families of those who have been killed and wounded," Campbell said.
Of the 12 people who were injured, seven were shot and five others were injured trying to escape, Campbell said.
Seven victims -- six men and one woman -- were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. Three were in critical condition, while four were in serious condition. Two other victims were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital and three to Northside Hospital, where one person was treated and released.
Harvey Houtkin, chairman and chief executive officer of All- Tech Investment Group, speaking to CNN from the company's New Jersey headquarters, said the gunman, whom he described as a former customer, entered the Atlanta branch office and shot the office manager and secretary at point-blank range.
The gunman then began firing on anyone inside the office before moving outside, Houtkin said.
"He was shooting anyone just sitting there," said Houtkin, who has been in touch with the branch office. "My emotions are so crazy right now I don't know what to say ... For something like this to happen is just crazy."
Workers at several office buildings in the area were evacuated in buses, while others were advised to stay put and take precautions.
As the afternoon progressed, more workers could be seen coming out of the building in groups. Police searched the trunks of cars leaving the area.
Correspondents Martin Savidge and Brian Cabell contributed to this report.
All-Tech Investment Group Online
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