According to the Cobb County Police Department, officers received a 911 call about a person being shot outside Kennesaw’s Town Center Mall. Arriving at the scene, they found 23-year-old Zakeem Berry of Kennesaw lying in the road on George Busbee Parkway. Berry was found not far from Red Lobster, but Public Information Officer Mike Bowman said he had been at the restaurant that night.
“Red Lobster is not involved, it’s just in the area,” Bowman said.
Berry was transported to WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, where he died from his wound.
Witnesses said Berry was a mall security guard and was on-duty at the time. Police say the gunman asked Berry for directions but then shot him in the face at the corner of Busbee Parkway and Ring Road, which circles the mall.
Catt Avery had just gotten off work at Red Lobster and was with a co-worker at Highlands, a restaurant across the street. She didn’t hear the gunshot but noticed a flurry of police and ambulance activity. Red Lobster had been closed for more than an hour but some staff were still cleaning up and assisted officers at the scene.
“No one was out because it was so late,” she said.
At first, Avery thought it might have been a car accident because the security vehicle was still at the intersection. She heard someone say, “Help me get this man into my car” in an attempt to get him to the hospital not long after the shooting.
“I’m so sorry for the family,” Avery said.
Avery said the gunman drove off and didn’t shoot himself until he drove to the Kroger on Cherokee Street.
The suspect, 23-year-old Richard Holcomb of Rydal, was later found at the store, about 5 miles away. Police said he had an self-inflicted gunshot wound and also died after being transported to Kennestone. It is unclear if he shot himself inside the store or in the parking lot.
Officers did not release any other information about the incident or the circumstances involved.
“I don’t know that they knew each other and have no idea about criminal histories,” Bowman said. “None whatsoever.”
The mall issued a statement about Berry’s death Saturday afternoon.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic event,” reads the release. “Our sincere condolences go out to the family of the security officer involved in this incident. Mall management is working closely with the Cobb County Police to share any details that may assist in the investigation of this senseless crime that is extremely shocking to all of us.”
Anyone with information is asked to call (770) 499-3945.