Man charged with making mass shooting threats near Atlanta mall, police say


A man is in custody after threatening a mass shooting in the Greenbriar Mall area in southwest Atlanta, police said Friday afternoon.

The man was identified as Rashon Leiniel Banks, 47, police spokesman John Chafee said Saturday evening. He has been charged with making terroristic threats and acts.

Just before 10 a.m., police received a call from a crisis hotline that a man had made threats to conduct a mass shooting and exchange gunfire with police near the mall, Chafee said.

“We don’t know what led (to him calling the crisis hotline), but it appears he was in some crisis and was reaching out for some help,” Chafee said. “Something obviously led to him making these threats.”

Chafee said the calls were disconnected several times, and the threats took place over multiple calls to the hotline.

Surveillance footage showed the man drop a book bag by a dumpster, which Chafee confirmed didn’t have any weapons inside it or present any threat. 

 

No weapons were found near the mall, Chafee said. 

Police negotiators located the man in the wood line near the mall, and he ended up leaving the woods and surrendering peacefully, Chafee said. No one was injured during the incident.

 

“Anytime that we have a threat of a mass shooting, it’s something that’s a concern to us,” Chafee said. “It has to be taken seriously.”

Police also said they are “attempting to put him in contact with professionals who can assist him with his crisis.”

Three schools in the area — Therrell High, Continental Colony Elementary and Ralph J. Bunche Middle — were on lockdown, Atlanta Public Schools confirmed. They were scheduled to dismiss as usual, according to the district. 

A Piccadilly restaurant and a beauty store within the mall were evacuated as a precaution, Chafee said.

He said the Georgia State Patrol and several other agencies assisted with the incident.

In other news:



Next Up in Local

2 Missouri men found with 2 kilos of fentanyl, police say
2 Missouri men found with 2 kilos of fentanyl, police say

Two men from Missouri were arrested on federal drug charges Thursday after authorities caught them with two kilograms of fentanyl, enough for 1.5 million doses of the painkiller, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. >> Read more trending news  Two men, Ruben Lopez, 27, and Jonathen Andrew Aguilar, 31, both of St. Charles, were...
‘Cat Grandpa’ snuggles with felines at pet shelter
‘Cat Grandpa’ snuggles with felines at pet shelter

A 75-year-old Wisconsin man is giving new meaning to catnaps. >> Read more trending news  Terry Lauerman, of De Pere, has been volunteering at Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary in Green Bay for the last six months, and photographs of him fast asleep while several of the shelter’s cats snuggle up to him on couches have gone viral, the Green...
Sweet story: Iowa man, 94, passes out Hershey's chocolate bars to residents 
Sweet story: Iowa man, 94, passes out Hershey's chocolate bars to residents 

A 94-year-old Iowa native has been sweet to residents in his small town for more than 15 years. Bob Williams is known as the “Candy Bar Man” in Long Grove, and his kindness has been a sweet story to many residents. >> Read more trending news  Williams, who taught psychology in nearby Davenport for 39 years, stocks his refrigerator...
Atlanta City Council asserts itself as Gulch talks enter new phase
Atlanta City Council asserts itself as Gulch talks enter new phase

Atlanta City Council hit the pause button this week on Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ push for up to $1.75 billion in public financing to redevelop the Gulch. The move shook many City Hall observers. The council seldom asserted itself in the prior eight years under former Mayor Kasim Reed, and for some, the legislative branch’s new-found backbone...
‘I feel like I have nothing left’: Fiancé dies in DeKalb County wreck
‘I feel like I have nothing left’: Fiancé dies in DeKalb County wreck

A DeKalb County fiancé died in a car accident on I-285, and his family didn’t know he died for nearly a week, Channel 2 Action News reported. Ryan Finch, 33, of Atlanta, was driving his 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche east on I-285 near the Flat Shoals Parkway exit when he allegedly hit a 2002 Toyota Camry’s rear on Sept. 13, according...
More Stories