Rico Marley is the Georgia man facing several felony charges after police said he entered a grocery store armed with six guns. This happened on March 24 at the Publix located at Atlantic Station in Atlanta.
According to an Atlanta Police Department report, all of the recovered weapons were loaded with rounds in their chambers. Marley was also wearing body armor when he was arrested.
A witness told officers he saw Marley, 22, in the bathroom along with an AR-15 style rifle leaning against the wall. He alerted a manager and the police were called. Marley was arrested shortly after leaving the bathroom and no shots were fired.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. An Instacart Shopper Said He Saw an AR-15 & Heard What Sounded Like Firearms Being Loaded From Inside the Bathroom Stall
Marley walked into the Publix during the afternoon on March 24 carrying a black guitar bag, WGCL-TV reported. He headed straight for the bathroom.
Witness Charles Russell, an Instacart shopper, told the police he entered the bathroom after Marley. According to the police report, Russell said he “heard clicking sounds from the bathroom stall.” He said he believed it sounded “like someone was loading firearms.”
Russell also said he noticed an AR-15 style rifle “leaned against the wall.” Russell further explained to WSB-TV, “The weapon was leaned up in the stall of the bathroom, and it was not in a case. I saw it clear as day.”
He added, “this kind of startled me just again with events that recently happened in the grocery store up in Colorado.” He was referring to the mass shooting that happened on March 22 at the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder. 10 people, including police officer Eric Talley, were killed in that attack.
Russell told WSB-TV he didn’t say anything to Marley in the bathroom. As noted on the official report, Russell alerted a Publix staff member and the police were called.
2. The Witness Said Marley Entered the Store Wearing a T-Shirt & Put on Body Armor in the Bathroom
Russell told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that when he first noticed Marley, Marley had been wearing a white T-shirt and black pants. But by the time Marley left the bathroom, he had put “ballistic rifle plates on his chest and back,” WGCL-TV reported.
According to the police report, Marley had six weapons. All of them were loaded and prepared to fire. Four handguns were recovered from Marley’s clothing:
- Taurus G3C 9x19mm pistol (S#: ACA483874)
- Mossberg MC2C 9x19mm (S#: 012125MC)
- Glock 43 9x19mm (S#: BKSM472)
- Taurus 856 .38 special revolver (S#: ACB511594)
Officers found two additional weapons in Marley’s bag:
- DPMS AR15 style rifle (S#: FFH129807)
- Maverick Arms Modell 88 12 gauge shotgun
The report adds that Marley was wearing body armor when he was arrested. He also had a ski mask and two cellphones.
3. Police Said Marley Looked Surprised When Officers Approached Him in the Grocery Store
The police got the call about someone in the Publix grocery store with an AR-15 rifle at 1:41 p.m., according to the official report. The officer who prepared the report wrote that the Publix “appeared to be evacuated” by the time his team arrived.
The officers approached “the front left entrance door which was close to the restroom where the accused was possibly located.” Upon entering, they saw Marley “coming around the corner from the restroom from a few feet away.” They ordered Marley to put his hands up and not to move.
Marley immediately obeyed and was taken into custody without incident. According to the report, Marley “appeared to be surprised” when he saw the officers “that close to him.”
4. Paramedics Conducted a Mental Health Evaluation Before Marley Was Taken to Jail
Bond denied for Rico Marley,22,who walked into ATL Publix,heavily armed. No obv digital FP,records: ‘18 simple assault,dis.conduct case-charged for throwing food bowl at step-sibling’s head,year of non-reporting probation after case closed for court order clerical error @wsbtv 5 pic.twitter.com/vK4gZepJCJ
— Nicole Carr (@NicoleFCarr) March 25, 2021
The Atlanta Police Department has not publicly discussed Marley’s possible motive for carrying multiple loaded weapons into the grocery store or whether they believe he intended to fire the weapons inside the store. Police said paramedics performed a mental health evaluation on Marley at the scene.
- Possession of Firearm or Knife During a Commission of or Attempt to Commit Certain Felonies – 6 counts
- Criminal Attempt to Commit a Felony – 5 counts
5. Marley Was Arrested for Assault & Disorderly Conduct in 2018
Marley was arrested in DeKalb County in January 2018 for simple assault and disorderly conduct. Court records suggest Marley pleaded guilty and spent 10 days behind bars. The record also shows he was sentenced to one year of probation.
WSB-TV reporter Nicole Carr shared on Twitter the case stemmed from a domestic dispute. She wrote that Marley was charged for throwing a food bowl at his step-sibling’s head.
The case was mistakenly closed in May 2018. The record includes a comment added in July 2018: “The case was closed due to clerical error by court order on 5/24/18. That Order is hereby vacated.” It added that Marley would remain on non-reporting probation.