ATLANTA (AP) — A man accused of gunning down two homeless men in their sleep and fatally shooting a hairstylist as she walked to her car has been charged in the death of a fourth person, police said Tuesday.
Aeman Lovel Presley, 34, shot Calvin Gholston, 53, to death Sept. 27 at a shopping center outside Atlanta, police said. They believe Gholston was homeless and was shot multiple times as he slept — like two of the other victims, though his death came about a month earlier.
The woman who found Gholston’s body told officers he had been living in an alleyway near the shopping center for at least two months, according to a police report.
In the second and third deaths, Presley is accused of firing multiple times — “overkill,” police say — while the two homeless men were wrapped in blankets, sleeping on the sidewalk in Atlanta. Dorian Jenkins, 42, was killed Nov. 23, followed by Tommy Mims, 68, on Nov. 26.
Jenkins was shot five times and Mims seven times.
Just over a week later, hair stylist Karen Pearce, 44, was shot as she walked to her car after leaving a restaurant in downtown Decatur, just outside Atlanta. Presley also faces a murder charge in that Dec. 6 death.
No attorney was listed for Presley — a convicted felon who was wanted on a warrant on drug charges out of Los Angeles, according to law enforcement officials — in online court records Tuesday.
Police wouldn’t comment on Tuesday on a possible motive behind the killings.
“The only thing we can say for certain is this is a very violent individual,” Atlanta police Capt. Paul Guerrucci said.
Investigators have said both Jenkins and Mims were shot with an elongated .45-caliber bullet — often called a “cowboy bullet.” In their investigation, police emphasized the type of bullet used as they asked the public and law enforcement agencies nationwide for help with the seemingly random shootings of the homeless men.
Police haven’t said whether the same unusual type of bullet was used in the other two killings.
On Tuesday, police issued an incident report detailing Presley’s Thursday arrest.
In it, an officer for MARTA, Atlanta’s transit system, wrote that he saw Presley pass through a downtown station entry gate without paying the fare. He slipped in behind a paying customer. The officer stopped Presley, who presented his fare card when asked but began to pace nervously, the officer wrote.
Presley didn’t follow orders to stand still and put his back against the wall, and the officer arrested him for not paying his fare, according to the report.
Presley was taken to a police staff room for processing, and officers determined there was no money on his fare card. In his bag, they found a silver Taurus .45 Colt revolver fully loaded with five hollow point rounds, according to the report. Also in the bag was an ammunition box with 27 more hollow point rounds.
A day earlier, police had released photos of the bullets and packaging of the ammunition used in the killings of Jenkins and Mims. A MARTA police weapons expert remembered the photos.
By putting out the information on the weapons, “I compromised all of my evidence, knowing that if we could just save one more homeless person” it would be worth it, Atlanta police Detective David Quinn said.
Police declined to give many details from Presley’s interviews with investigators but called him cooperative and forthcoming.
“I wouldn’t even say it was an interrogation. It was a conversation,” Quinn said. He later added: “After the interview, we had enough evidence to charge these four murders, I’ll put it that way.”
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