Clayton County police said the three Atlanta men who allegedly tried to rob a Morrow package store Saturday night were reportedly looking for money to celebrate one of their birthdays.
Store clerk, Deon Causey, 29, died after exchanging gunfire with the men inside Moe’s Package Store about 8:36 p.m., said Clayton County Police Lt. Tina Daniel. A second clerk was wounded, and is still hospitalized, she added.
Sheldon Emory Brown, 23, and Otis Jamal Parker, 22, were taken into custody Wednesday and charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault and murder. The third man, James B. Hightower, 24, was shot during the robbery, and remains in Atlanta Medical Center in critical condition, said Daniel.
According to Georgia Department of Corrections records, Brown served less than a year of a five-year sentence in prison for a 2008 burglary conviction in Clayton County. He was released in February 2010.
The Clayton County Sheriff's Fugitive and Investigative Unit arrested Brown just after lunch, Wednesday, and Parker was picked up about an hour later, said Clayton Sheriff's Lt. Brian Crisp.
Daniel said Parker allegedly fired the shots that killed Causey and wounded the second worker.
The identification of the trio, and the arrests of the two captured Wednesday were a collaborative effort between law enforcement agencies and the public.
"This is something the detectives worked very hard on, to bring this case together," said Daniel. "We got assistance from the community to be able to make the arrests very quickly. We also appreciate the efforts and cooperation from the City of Atlanta Police [Department] and the Clayton County Sheriff's Office."
Saturday was Parker's birthday, and the trio were looking for party money, according to police. Hightower turned 24 on Aug. 22.
"It appears they went on a spree to get money for a birthday celebration," said Daniel. "They cased some other places and decided on this one."
The pair were taken from the police department to be booked into the Clayton County Jail just after 6 p.m., Wednesday. Parker declined to comment on the charges, but Brown denied any involvement.
"I didn't do nothing," he said. "They got the wrong man."