Police: The Instacart purchaser alerted the shop supervisor to a gunman at Georgia Publix

by: The Associated Press, NBC News Channel

Posted: Mar 25, 2021 / 03:57 PM EDT
Updated: March 25, 2021 / 3:57 p.m. EDT


ATLANTA (AP / NBC) – A keen-eyed Instacart worker receives credit for averting a terrible crime in Atlanta that involved a man bringing body armor, ammunition and at least six guns to a grocery store.

Charles Russell spotted the man in a bathroom with one of the rifles and alerted a manager at the Publix store by asking him to call 911. The police then approached the store and arrested the man without a shot being fired.

Rico Marley, 22, was due for an initial trial Thursday on charges of gun possession while attempting to commit a crime. Investigators also said Marley was going through a psychiatric evaluation. It is unclear whether he had a lawyer.

On-site emergency teams conducted a mental health exam before he was admitted.

Investigators didn’t say why Marley came into the store with the guns. However, Georgia is an open-carry state.

Publix said in a statement:

“At Publix, the safety of our employees and customers has top priority. We are working with local law enforcement on an incident that occurred today at our Atlantic Station store. We are grateful that there were no injuries and that everyone was able to leave the shop safely. “

Marley is charged with five charges of criminal attempt, aggravated assault and six charges of possession of a firearm.