Was the murder of Britney Watts a revenge killing?

Jim C. writes:

Hip Hop Enquirer states that it was a possible revenge killing, i.e., Spurned Black Boyfriend Syndrome.

LA replies:

Here is the totality of what the linked story says on that point:

“Police believe the suspect waited for the victim to return to the parking garage in what they characterized as a possible revenge killing.”

The story doesn’t reference any police sources. It doesn’t give the basis for the police supposedly thinking that it was a revenge killing. It’s a statement without any context or factual support.

Watts had recently moved back to Atlanta with her husband. She had taken her job in that building one month ago. The idea that in that little month this happily married young woman had an affair with a security guard working in her building and then she spurned him which drove him to kill her in revenge seems rather unlikely. At the same time, however, unless the killing is completely motiveless,—which I suggested as a possibility, but which also seems very unlikely given the way the killer deliberately targeted this particular woman—it must have some motive. So I guess the spurned lover angle can’t be dismissed.

Let’s see if there is anything that has been said on this point. On Monday, July 18 the AJC reported:

Police have yet to confirm whether the suspect in Friday’s Midtown shooting specifically targeted the woman who was slain.

It seems unlikely security guard Nkosi Thandiwe would’ve known 26-year-old Brittney Watts, who transferred from 22squared’s Tampa office only last month. The digital planning supervisor and her husband, both UGA graduates, had moved to Florida in 2008.

“Did I mention how I happy I am to be back here?” blogged the Roswell High School alum in a post dated June 29.

But police were struck by the brazen nature of the crime they described as an ambush.

On Tuesday, July 19, the AJC reported:

Detail by emerging detail, the Midtown lunch-hour killing of Brittney Fox Watts only grew more baffling—and more deeply unsettling—Monday.

Atlanta Police Department Police say they believe that Nkosi Thandiwe ambushed Brittany Watts, 26, of Decatur, in a Midtown garage at lunchtime Friday.

Just as she was an unlikely victim—a bubbly 26- year-old delighted with her life and only recently returned to her hometown—the suspect was an unlikely killer: not only a security guard but the church-going son of a high-achieving family, including a mother who is an attorney versed in death-penalty law.

Nkosi Thandiwe, 22, of Atlanta, is charged with murder in Watts’ death; he also faces two counts of aggravated assault in the shooting of two other women wounded in the same parking garage where Watts was gunned down Friday….

Police haven’t yet offered a motive for the shootings, or determined whether the gunman targeted Watts or chose her at random. If the two were acquainted, though, it can only have been briefly: Watts had worked in the Proscenium building for only about a month.

From my Google search I see no indication that the Atlanta police have suggested that it was a spurned boyfriend revenge killing. And I repeat that Hip Hop Enquirer does not give any source for its statement that the police believe it was. So HHE’s statement looks like garbage.

However, Nicholas Stix has a simpler and more plausible theory:

You can guess at a possible motive—maybe he asked her for a date and Miss Watts said “No.”

* * *

On another subject, here is the first detailed account of the shooting of Lauren Garcia and Tiffany Ferenczy that I’ve seen, from the AJC, July 18:

As the gunman exited the parking garage, he fired several more shots, hitting Lauren Garcia, a 23-year-old intern for Midtown public relations firm the MSL Atlanta, and her co-worker, Tiffany Ferenczy, 24. Police believe they may have been random victims.

Rod Wright, Ferenczy’s father, told Channel 2 Action News his daughter was going to have lunch with a group of co-workers when gunfire exploded on Crescent Street.

“All of a sudden, the car came out [of the garage entrance],” Wright said. “The car was blocked and the next thing you know, the guy comes out of the car and started shooting. That’s when two of the victims got shot … my daughter and the other girl.”

What followed was pandemonium, witnesses say.

Meredith Smith ran into the parking deck for cover when the shooting began.

“We were crossing the street and we heard a ‘pop, pop, pop, pop’ and we ducked for cover inside the garage,” Smith said. “When we came out, we saw a lady laying face-down in the middle of the street.”

John Kupersmith, who works at Tin Lizzy’s, heard the gunshots from the restaurant’s patio. He said rather than driving people inside, the shooting brought more people out of the nearby buildings.

“I was seating tables when I heard four to five gunshots in quick succession,” Kupersmith said. “Everybody went to look. I came out and stuck my head out onto Crescent. There was a pretty big group of people on the street.

“And a lot of people were surrounding the lady who was face-down on the ground.”

Garcia lay in the street, a bullet wound in her back, her purse and shoes strewn out across the ground in front of the entrance to the parking deck.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 21, 2011 11:59 PM | Send

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