‘No one is safe anywhere’: Grandma, 77, stabbed to death by car thief in gated suburban Atlanta home

As members of an affluent Georgia community mourn over the murder of a grandmother, law enforcement officials announced the arrest of a suspect whose record not only found fault with the district attorney’s progressive policies but further justified a movement for secession.

Eleanor Bowles, a 77-year-old grandmother, was a resident of a gated community in the northern Atlanta, Ga. district of Buckhead until Saturday when she was found stabbed to death in her garage. After releasing an image of the suspect who had driven off in the victim’s 2021 Lexus Rx 350, police apprehended the alleged killer on Monday.

Charged with murder, aggravated battery, elder abuse, possession of a knife during the commission of a felony, and hijacking a motor vehicle according to the Atlanta Police Department (APD), 23-year-old Antonio Marquavious Brown was believed to be actively stealing Bowles’ car when she discovered him in her garage before noon.

APD Deputy Chief Charles Hampton Jr. explained during a press conference that the woman’s son, Michael Bowles, discovered her that evening, “The son came home to visit his mom for the holidays…This is not a way that a family should have to spend their holiday season, mourning and grieving a death of a loved one.”

While it was believed Brown entered the gated community on foot, details were not released as to how the suspect may have bypassed the security measures before allegedly making his way to Bowles’ roughly $800,000 home.

Residents of Buckhead have repeatedly taken efforts to secede from the city of Atlanta in order to govern themselves. Most recently that included a ballot measure during the gubernatorial primary in the form of a non-binding advisory question.

Buckhead City Committee CEO Bill White who volunteers to be in charge of the effort took to social media Monday decrying Fulton County DA Fani Willis as to blame for the death of Bowles, with highlights of the suspect’s criminal record.

“SIX PAGES WHY [WILLIS] IS 100% RESPONSIBLE FOR ELEANOR BOWLES BRUTAL MURDER,” he wrote with screenshots of Brown’s record that included previous felony and weapons charges.

Of the 157 homicides reported thus far in Atlanta in 2022, 11 occurred in Buckhead.

“No one is safe anywhere,” Atlanta city councilwoman Mary Norwood told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The city has become more and more lawless the violence has increased all over the city and it’s all horrible.”

In a past interview with Bloomberg, White had said, “We are living in a war zone in Buckhead. Shootings and killings, it just never ends.”

Meanwhile, at Monday’s press conference, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens expressed grief and tough talk, saying, “Atlanta is a group project, and when we have horrific horrible incidents like this, it is important for us to come together and act.”

“When something like this happens, the entire village is impacted and the entire village is called to support,” he went on before declaring, “If you pull a gun or pull out a knife in our city to hurt, harm, or kill someone, you will be arrested and sent to jail. We will use all of the tools of the APD and our friends and our partners, every resource we have, to bring to justice criminals who act in this violent way.”

The community held a candlelight vigil for the victim on Sunday and a crowdfunding page was established in her honor. Meanwhile, the younger Bowles released a statement that said, “I am committed to getting the word out about this outrageous tragedy. And I want everyone to understand that none of us are safe. I hope that people read this story and understand this, and then maybe we can all collectively effectuate some change. I will carry that message with me forever, for mom.”

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Kevin Haggerty

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