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Suspect accused of shooting DeKalb deputies was wanted for allegedly trying to kill tire shop employee

Warrants claim Edward Gatling wasn't satisfied with his car service and returned to the tire shop several times, threatening an employee.

ATLANTA — The suspect accused of shooting two DeKalb County investigators on Wednesday was wanted for trying to kill a tire shop employee, according to a warrant.

That warrant for 38-year-old Edward Allen Gatling's arrest indicates law enforcement officials were trying to serve the document for charges related to a shooting that happened on Oct. 14, in which Gatling is accused of threatening — and eventually shooting — a tire shop employee after being displeased with car service.

According to an Oct. 14 police report, the violent incident started when Gatling took his car to Tire House Tires located at 7041 Covington Highway. 

The warrant obtained by 11Alive alleges Gatling was "unhappy" with the work on his car and would return to the shop several times to dispute the services. At some point, during an argument, Gatling pulled out a gun, pointed it at an employee, and started to threaten him.

The tire shop employee told police he reserviced Gatling's car tires, but the customer still wasn't satisfied, according to the report. That's when Gatling allegedly pulled a gun out for a second time. The warrant states he pointed a pistol and an AR-15 at the employee. The employee reportedly ordered Gatling to leave and never come back to the shop again.

Later, when the tire shop employee was leaving work, warrants allege Gatling pulled up behind him at a red light near Covington Highway and Lithonia Industrial Boulevard. Wearing a back mask, Gatling got out of his car and shot into the man's vehicle with a "high powered rifle," striking his left hand and right leg before he could escape.

Witnesses claim Gatling got back into his four-door sedan, made a U-turn, and then sped off, fleeing the scene in the opposite direction, the report states.

On Wednesday, authorities were attempting serve the warrant to Gatling for an aggravated assault with attempt to murder charge related to the Oct. 14 incident when he police said he shot two investigators at a Lithonia residence. 

DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox said Gatling fired a weapon but their deputies did not fire at him.

"I'm assuming once he saw the officers, [Gatling] decided to brandish his weapon and start firing on the deputies," she added. 

Maddox identified the wounded investigators as Aaron Jackson and Ja'rad Hunt. Both were said to be "conscious and alert" after being taken to DeKalb Medical Center right after the shooting. They were then taken to Grady Hospital.

After an hours-long manhunt, DeKalb investigators found Gatling hiding in the woods not far from the shooting that left the two deputies hurt. Gunfire ensued when authorities caught sight of Gatling. He was hit and later died. No one else was injured in the crossfire.

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