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Police: Gunman targeting homeless people in Atlanta | News

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Police: Gunman targeting homeless people in Atlanta
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ATLANTA -- Someone is targeting homeless people and killing them while they sleep on the street, according to police. Two men are dead in two days, and both were shot multiple times.

The recent killings have become priority number one for Atlanta Homicide Detectives, according to Capt. Paul Guerrucci. "Please be aware that it appears that we have somebody that is targeting people that are sleeping at night, and we're very concerned about that," he said.

Capt. Guerrucci said it appears that someone may have a grudge against homeless people. "That is a possibility that we are seriously considering," he said.

Police are notifying the homeless community and homeless advocates to get the word out to people who sleep on the street. "It's bad enough that you're sleeping outside in the cold, but to be murdered?" asked Anita Beatty of the Metropolitan Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless.

"We're going to make a flyer and say be careful, come inside, be very, very careful, nobody should sleep alone outside," Beatty said.

Police said a homeless man in his 40's was found dead in a preferred sleeping spot for the homeless at the intersection of Courtland Street and Ralph McGill Boulevard Monday. "It appears the victim had been sleeping and that someone shot him multiple times while he slept," Capt. Guerrucci said.

Then on Wednesday morning, two days later, another homeless man, 64-year-old Tommy "Can Man" Mims, was found dead on the sidewalk under a railroad bridge on Northside Drive near Whitehall Avenue. The second murder was more than two miles in distance from the shooting on Monday but too close in similarities for police to ignore.

"The similarities are they appear to have been sleeping when they were shot and both were shot multiple times, and we believe that most likely both were shot in the evening," Guerrucci said.

Police are asking anyone with information about the murders to call Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-TIPS (8477). Tipsters may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

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