Atlanta shooting latest: Suspect Raïssa Kengne appears in court as police investigate why victims were targeted

Suspect in deadly Midtown Atlanta shooting speaks after judge tells her to remain silent during hearing

The woman accused of shooting three people and sending offices into lockdown in downtown Atlanta on Monday has been denied bail.

Raïssa Kengne, 34, appeared in court on Tuesday afternoon accused of assaulting three people with a firearm, killing two of them, and was ordered to remain in custody.

The first attack took place at Ms Kengne’s luxury apartment complex, with a second shooting spree erupting minutes later at an office building four blocks away.

Michael Shinners, 60, a building manager at Ms Kengne’s luxury apartment complex, died at the scene, while Wesley Freeman, 41, who appears to have been a former colleague of Ms Kengne, died later in hospital.

While police are still investigating the motive for the shooting, Kengne appears to have made a series of LinkedIn posts and filed a lawsuit accusing Freeman and her building managers of conspiring against her.

Officers said they believed the victims were specifically targeted.


“Not enough evidence”

Raïssa Kengne’s lawsuit was in trouble. According to her complaint, she tried to engage a law firm but was turned down after “several months” and “many questions” because “they didn’t have enough evidence to pursue the case”.

She searched for other attorneys in Georgia, even flying to Washington, DC to meet with others (her tickets are included in her lawsuit as evidence), to no avail.

Instead, she represented herself, naming her former lawyers as defendants in the case.


The suspect is said to have fought for exclusion

Atlanta Broadcaster 11 alive has done a deep dive into Raïssa Kengne’s 407-page lawsuit, as well as other legal documents related to her life.

Although a judge on Tuesday told Ms. Kengne that she does not qualify for a taxpayer-funded attorney, she reportedly told another court that she has less than $3,000 in savings and no income.

The report says that Mrs. Kengne owns land, an abandoned house and her apartment in the middle of Atlanta, but that she has been fighting to prevent the house from being foreclosed on and to get the electricity back on in the apartment.


No court date has been set for Kengne’s next appearance

A court date has not yet been set for Raïssa Kengne’s next appearance before a judge, Fox 5 Atlanta reported Tuesday.

The woman accused of killing two people and injuring one in a shooting spree in downtown Atlanta on Tuesday appeared briefly before a magistrate to hear her arraignment and be denied bail.


“Wes will be deeply missed”

The accounting firm where shooting victim Wesley Freeman worked has sent a bulletin to employees grieving his loss.

According to a screenshot posted by an employee on the anonymous social network Fishbowl, the message was first spotted by the accounting news website Ongoing concern – was signed by BDO USA head Wayne Berson and HR head Cathy Moy.

“As you may have seen in the news, there was an active shooter incident in downtown Atlanta, which included our BDO office,” they said. “We are devastated to report that one of our employees, Wesley (Wes) Freeman, lost his life yesterday as a result of this incident.

“This is devastating and something we never imagined we would face as a firm… Wes, a CEO of IS Insurance, was an incredible team member who brought exceptional passion, dedication and integrity to his work over the past 16 years at BDO. He will be deeply missed.”

It adds that the Atlanta office will be closed “until further notice.”

The statement did not say anything about shooting suspect Raïssa Kengne, who appears to have previously worked for BDO and who had named Mr Freeman as a defendant in a wide-ranging trial in May.

So far, BDO has not responded to requests for comment from The Independent.


The suspect’s LinkedIn page is flooded with comments

Raïssa Kengne’s LinkedIn page has been flooded with rubberneckers online speculating about her alleged role in the shooting and sometimes voicing support for her.

Under a video of Kengne about her dispute with her former employer and the building manager, which was posted two days ago, there are now 286 comments from apparent strangers.

Some take her claims of a conspiracy against her seriously, suggesting dark forces at work behind the events in Atlanta and expressing support for her perspective.

Others sympathized with her claims that Atlanta police did not give her dispute due attention while lamenting the deaths. Others still claimed she was mentally ill, using words like “paranoid” and “delusional”, while many more simply discussed her arrest with amazement and surprise.

To be clear, Ms Kengne is innocent of Monday’s shooting until proven guilty, and we know nothing concrete about her mental state.

An unfortunate professional association, who describes himself as a senior auditor at KPMG, wrote about three weeks ago that “I knew from the first moment I met you that you were a BAD. Go, Raissa!”

Since then, many strangers have replied pointing out that she has been arrested.


The suspect had a long career as an IT auditor

Now that authorities have confirmed the suspect as Raïssa Kengne, let’s take a closer look at how she described herself on LinkedIn.

By all accounts, Mrs Kengne has had a successful career. She graduated in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Georgia State University’s J Mack Robinson College of Business, where she says she was treasurer of the Delta Epsilon Iota fraternity, and then earned a master’s degree in IT systems auditing from the same institution in 2013.

Since then, she has worked in various companies as an IT auditor, assessing customers’ security against cyber attacks and the risk of system failure.

She received endorsements on the social network for her skills in “auditing”, “financial analysis”, “financial reporting” and others. A manager from one of her internships back in 2011 described him as “a valuable asset to our accounting team… her results were on par with the professionals on our staff.”

According to a post three weeks ago, Ms Kengne also gave a conference speech in Atlanta entitled “Fraud in Public Accounting”.

A screenshot from what appears to be Raïssa Kengne’s LinkedIn page

(Raïssa Kengne via LinkedIn)


ICYMI: Two victims killed in attack identified

Michael Shinners, 60, and Wesley Freeman, 41, were identified by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office on Monday as the two victims killed in the shooting that afternoon, according to local news outlets.

Shinners was one of two people shot at an apartment at 1280 West Peachtree Street, while Freeman was shot at another building less than a mile away, at 1100 Peachtree Street, Atlanta police said.

The first shooting took place in the management office of the apartment building operated by Beacon Management Services, where the Shinners and the third victim, Mike Horne, were employees, according to CBS46.

Here’s what we know about them:


“Please be quiet, ma’am”

Here is a video clip from Raïssa Kengne’s first appearance in court, showing her testy exchange with the judge.

Suspect in deadly Midtown Atlanta shooting speaks after judge tells her to remain silent during hearing


Raïssa Kengne appears in court

Raïssa Kengne has been denied bail in his first appearance in an Atlanta court.

She sat in front of a video screen in a government building, wearing a face mask, and listened as the warrant for her arrest was read out, accusing her of attacking Michael Shinners, Wesley Freeman and Michael Horne with a firearm.

Kengne repeatedly tried to speak out and intervene in the proceedings, but was told by the judge to be quiet. “Your honor, if I may intervene—” she said at one point. “Please be quiet, ma’am,” replied the judge.

Raïssa Kengne during her first court hearing on Tuesday 23 August 2022

(WSB-TV 2)

The judge then told Kengne that she had enough assets or income that she did not qualify for a taxpayer-funded defense attorney under Georgia law, and that she must immediately hire her own attorney without “delay or stoppage.”[ing]”.

Kengne attempted to protest, saying she had not had the opportunity to speak to her current attorney about the facts of the case, but was told it would be sorted out at a later date.

The judge ordered that she remain in custody.


An appeal has reportedly been filed by the suspect in the trial

In a lawsuit alleging a conspiracy against her, Raïssa Kengne accused two of her victims and her former employer of “retaliation, stalking, harassment, threats, threats, burglary, computer hacking, phone spoofing and other attacks,” according to a version seen . of The independent.

The suit, which a judge reportedly dismissed, came after she allegedly highlighted a “significant deficiency” in an audit at her former accounting firm that was ignored, WSB-TV reported.

She then accused the apartment management company of allowing “unauthorized persons” into her apartment in connection with the claims and the lawsuit, and as recently as last week appealed a judge’s decision, according to WSB-TV.

Lisa Simmons, the president of Beacon Management Services, told local news media on Tuesday that Mrs. Kengne was a “disgruntled” resident.

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