The woman accused in the Midtown shootings on Aug. 22 that left two people dead and one person seriously injured targeted her victims, according to the Atlanta Police Department.
Police have not given a motive for why Raissa Kengne, 34, allegedly decided to shoot several people Monday afternoon. But the victims are tied to a lawsuit Kengne filed in May in Fulton County Superior Court that alleged, among other issues, her former employer and the property management company where she lived conspired to blacklist her from job opportunities. She also alleged in the lawsuit they and others prevented her from receiving unemployment benefits, Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) benefits, and prevented her from receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
“We do not believe these were random acts of violence. We do believe the individuals were likely targeted,” APD Interim Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a Monday press conference, but did not disclose anything further.
In July, Kengne’s lawsuit, which she filed pro se, or without legal counsel, was moved to federal court where it was eventually dismissed. The dismissal of the lawsuit can be read below.
Kengne was arrested at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport hours after the shootings occurred Monday afternoon near Colony Square in the heart of Midtown. The shootings spurred a massive police response from APD and several other local and federal agencies. Streets in busy Midtown were shut down and police ordered lockdowns at schools, businesses, and residential buildings in the area.
She faces numerous charges including murder and aggravated assault.
Killed were Wesley Freeman, 41, her former supervisor at a BDO USA LLP, a major Atlanta accounting firm where Kengne apparently worked as an audit manager. He was shot at 1100 Peachtree St., where BDO USA has an office. Freeman was named in Kengne’s lawsuit, as was BDO USA.
Also killed was Michael Shinners, 60, at the 1280 West condominium building, where Kengne lived. Shinners was the building manager for Beacon Management Services, the property management company for 1280 West. Michael Horne, chief building engineer for Beacon Management Services, was seriously wounded. Beacon Management Services was also named in the lawsuit.
The day before the shootings, Kengne posted to her LinkedIn profile that BDO USA retaliated against her for reporting Freeman and the company to federal authorities for committing fraud. She also said BDO USA conspired with Beacon Management Services to break into her condo to steal and delete evidence she had in a safe.
Beacon Management Services CEO Steve Weibel said in a phone interview that Kengne was “known for being loud and demonstrative” by those living and working at 1280 West.
“But nobody expected something like this,” he said. “She hated everyone and … then filed this [massive] federal lawsuit,” Weibel said.
“Everyone knew her because of her behavior,” he said. “She was irrational, abusive and unpredictable.”
Weibel said Horne remains in critical condition after being shot twice.
“We don’t know if he will survive,” he said.
“We are all just stunned, shocked,” Weibel said. “Everybody is just so sad. I don’t even know how to think.”
Kengne was denied bond Aug. 23, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.