Man killed at Salem Road Waffle House

CONYERS - A South Carolina man was shot and killed outside the Waffle House on Salem Road about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office.

James Bernard Johnson of 305 Bozard Mill Road in Leesville, S.C., was found dead in the passenger seat of an SUV parked outside the restaurant. Rockdale County Sheriff Jeff Wigington said the driver of the SUV walked out of the Waffle House just before the shooting occurred.

No one else was injured in the incident, although other patrons were in the restaurant at the time, Wigington said.

The shooter is believed to have walked over to the SUV and fired a weapon. The man then entered a four-door, light-colored Pontiac Grand Prix occupied by at least one other person, the sheriff said.

Surveillance footage taken at the time of the incident appears to show the suspect run alongside the vehicle and enter the Pontiac through the left rear door. The car, which has a sunroof, a spoiler and factory rims, was last seen exiting the Waffle House parking lot heading southbound on Salem Road toward Newton County.

The suspect is described as a light-skinned black or Hispanic man. Authorities have issued a lookout for the suspect vehicle.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Sgt. Tom Brewer with the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division at 770-918-6732 or 770-918-6700.

This marks the first murder in 2008 in Rockdale County.

Aimee Jones can be reached at aimee.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.