COLLEGE PARK— A woman was shot multiple times over the Christmas weekend and her alleged assailant told police he had nothing to do with the shooting.
Anthony Bernard Russ was arrested Sunday and charged with aggravated assault, aggravated battery, cruelty to children in the third degree and possession of a firearm by a felon in the first offender program.
The shooting occurred Saturday at 6:48 p.m., at 5864 Summer Glen Lane in College Park, according to Clayton County Police Detective J. Watson.
Watson said Russ, a convicted felon, allegedly shot Sydnee Thomas “multiple times striking her in the chest, arm and stomach.”
Thomas was transported to Atlanta Medical Center where she had several surgeries, according to Watson.
Thomas reportedly identified Russ as the gunman to police and hospital staff.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” Thomas said to police, according to the arrest warrant. “He shot me.” Watson said Thomas made the statement immediately before being sedated and taken into surgery.
Police said Russ knew five children “were in a nearby room of the home” and that the children heard the shooting. One of the children was visiting friends at the home, according to police. Witnesses told police only Thomas and Russ along with the children were in the home at the time of the shooting.
The detective said in the arrest warrant Russ also allegedly committed aggravated battery causing bodily harm and rendering her body useless and seriously disfiguring her body.
The warrant reads, “[Russ] did shoot the victim with a handgun multiple times striking her in the chest, arm and stomach. This caused [a] grievous open wound that will require multiple surgical procedures to repair and have resulted in the temporary loss of the use of [her] arm and significant disfigurement to the victim’s stomach.”
Watson said during the investigation police discovered Russ had a handgun and a shotgun. Police located ammunition for both weapons, which included a box of .380 bullets. Police found the ammunition and a shotgun in the backyard of the house, they said.
“They appeared to have been thrown into the wooded area behind the home,” Watson said. “[Thomas] stated that after shooting her [Russ] went out the back door in the backyard. He returned and made a 911 call, claiming that he was not present when the victim was shot.”
Prior to the Christmas shooting, Russ had been convicted of two crimes in Fulton County, armed robbery on Sept. 29, 1997 and robbery on Nov. 22, 2009.
Wednesday, Thomas was listed in the intensive care unit at Atlanta Medical Center recovering from her injuries. Russ remained in the Clayton County Jail without bond.