RCSO: Gun found in woods near scene of weave shooting

ATF brought in to assist in search

CONYERS — A firearm believed to have been used in the fatal shooting of a Conyers woman during an attempted armed robbery of hair weaves has been found in a wooded area in the subdivision where the incident occurred, according to the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office.

The RCSO stated in a press release Friday that an ATF K-9 team, searching the wooded area of Fountain Crest subdivision on Ga. Highway 20 South, located a firearm believed to have been used by the assailants in the Dec. 11 shooting.

Four people have been arrested in connection with the botched attempted armed robbery that resulted in the death of 21-year-old Jennifer Menzies of Conyers.

Authorities believe that Christina Menzies, 19, of Covington, arranged to meet a male and a female in the parking lot of the swimming pool area of Fountain Crest subdivision to purchase some hair weaves.

The victims reported to investigators they began speaking with Menzies when a group of people — including Jennifer Menzies, who is believed to be Christina Menzies’ sister — came from the bushes toward the victims’ truck, one of them pointing a handgun, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The victims exchanged gunfire with the suspects, and, as a result, Jennifer Menzies was shot more than once.

Christina Menzies reportedly left the scene in a vehicle with Jennifer Menzies and was heading on Ga. Highway 138 toward Rockdale Medical Center when an RCSO deputy stopped the car. The deputy called for an ambulance.

In addition to Christina Menzies, RCSO, with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service Southeast Regional Task Force, has arrested 20-year-old Brandon Jay Lamothe of Conyers; James Wansley Edwards, 21, of Stone Mountain; and Jaquan House, 20, of Conyers. They have been charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit armed robbery.

ATF Special Agent Brett Bowers and K-9 Glow were called to the scene last week by the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office after an initial search for the firearm had proven unsuccessful. Because of their special training in explosive detention, ATF-trained explosive detection canines can detect firearms and ammunition, the press release states.

Despite a week of wet weather, Glow and Special Agent Bowers were able to locate the firearm in some leaves in the lot near the subdivision, authorities said.

“The Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office will continue to form partnerships with other law enforcement agencies — such as the ATF — to help make Rockdale County a safer place,” said Sheriff Eric Levett. “This additional evidence has helped complete our case and make the neighborhood safe, since this firearm will not fall into the hands of a child playing in the area.”

ATF Special Agent in Charge Christopher Shaefer said the Atlanta Field Division is committed to continuing its partnership with the RCSO.

“ATF considers Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office a critical partner in its long-term mission of fighting violent crime and will continue to dedicate federal resources such as ATF Explosives Detection K-9 Glow and her handler Special Agent Brett Bowers in accomplishing that mission,” Shaefer said.