Originally created 11/19/96

One killed, two hurt in parking lot shootout



A shootout in the Kroger parking lot on 15th Street left one man dead and two others injured Monday night.

Barry Maurice Cody, 23, of the 600 block of Sea Isle Drive, was pronounced dead at Medical College of Georgia Hospital after the shooting, officials said.

Mark Anthony Bell, 23, of the 200 block of Victory Street, will face murder charges in Mr. Cody's death, said Chief Deputy Ronald Strength of Richmond County's Sheriff Department.

"We believe Mark Anthony shot the victim," Chief Deputy Strength said.

The shooting happened around 10 p.m. outside of the Movieland Video and U Can Rent stores in the Kroger parking lot. Mr. Bell and his brother Ellis Bell went into the video store to rent some movies. Two other men, whom the Bells knew, also were in the store, authorities said.

The four began arguing while in the store, although authorities aren't sure what started the argument.

When the four left the store, they began fighting in the parking lot. At least one man - probably two - pulled out semiautomatic guns and began shooting at each other, police said.

Mr. Cody was shot in his back and head. He died on the way to the hospital, officials said.

Mark Anthony Bell was at MCG in fair condition with two gunshot wounds to his leg. Ellis Bell was at University Hospital in guarded condition, hospital officials said.

Police say Mark Anthony Bell dropped his brother off at University Hospital after the shooting, then drove himself to his father's home on Holly Street where police caught him. He was taken by officials to the hospital.

Corey Brown, 18, of the 500 block of Second Avenue, was being questioned at the Richmond County Law Enforcement Center late Monday, police said. He was the only one of the four not injured.

Authorities said it appears no one else was in danger and that the parking lot was not crowded.

A witness, who did not want to be identified, gave this account of the shooting:

"We were coming out of Kroger when we saw four guys come out of the video store. We saw two of them start fighting. One was on the ground. Another pulled out a gun and started shooting. The one on the ground kept saying you shot me in my leg. Please don't shoot me no more. But the guy ... reloaded the clip and kept shooting at him."

Employees and shoppers at Kroger and Movieland said they heard the shots and were scared.

"I live around the corner. I won't shop here after dark anymore. This area is getting so bad," said 33-year-old Nathan Tifton.

"I was at my register when I heard several shots. I may think about a new job," said 54-year-old Jerry Giles.

An employee of Movieland said she was relieved the men didn't start shooting while they were in the store.

"The manager waited on them. I heard the shots when they left. It was a little too close to here."