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Surveillance video of getaway car used in Applebee's shooting released | News

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Surveillance video of getaway car used in Applebee's shooting released

FAYETTEVILLE, GA (WXIA) -- Authorities have released surveillance photos of the car getaway car involved with the shooting death of an Applebee's manager.

The car in the photos is described as a 2008 tan or silver four-door Chevy Malibu. There were at least two persons of interest in the car, possibly three.


Police said Gregory Smith, 27, was trying to get away from his attacker when he was shot in the back inside his car.

Authorities told 11Alive that the Applebee's manager was first confronted outside his car.

"It appears that some interaction took place before Mr. Smith entered the vehicle and we know that a shot was fired before he got into the vehicle," Fayetteville Police Lt. Mike Whitlow told Kevin Rowson.

Police believe one shot was fired, then Smith ran to his car, closed the door and may have seen the second shot coming.

"More than likely he was leaning away from the shot, trying to avoid being shot," Lt. Whitlow said.

Investigators said the second bullet went through the driver's side window and struck Smith on his left upper back.

Whitlow said Smith's cell phone, keys and an iPod were missing. He said police are working on several theories including one that the suspect, or suspects, wrongly thought Smith was taking a night deposit from the restaurant.

"Taking the life of a man who by all intents and purposes is a good guy, a great guy, it is just a shameful, stupid crime," Lt. Whitlow said.

Police spent the day going door-to-door at more than half a dozen businesses.


They are hoping the surveillance video will lead them to the killer.

Police have already reviewed one key piece of video from a camera inside the store, which showed Smith walking out of the front door at 2:58 a.m., Sunday, locking up, then walking past two windows. That is where the video stops.

Smith was found dead in his car by his girlfriend at around 3:15 a.m. after he didn't return home from his job. Katisha Wilson went to the Applebee's with the couples 1-year-old daughter. Just minutes after finding her boyfriend shot to death, Wilson, while holding her daughter, placed a distraught phone call to 911.

"I'm at the Fayetteville Applebee's; this is where he works, he manages here," said the phone call to 911. "I don't know what the hell happened. He's in his car. There's a gunshot in the window."

"We're working it; everybody in our office literally is out today, beating the street," said Lt. Mike Whitlow.

Whitlow says that per company policy, when he left the restaurant, Smith was not carrying a night deposit bag.

Monday, a locksmith was at the restaurant changing the locks. Whitlow said investigators were unable to find Smith's keys and believe the suspects may have taken them. Police said they were optimistic that cameras from nearby businesses would have information that may be able to help them.

"We hope the cameras are pointed in the right direction – let's put it that way," Whitlow said. "Even if it's just a portion of the back of a vehicle, it still gives us a little more information."

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Atlanta Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477).