A popular jewelry store owner is dead and Villa Rica Police are searching for four young suspects in a smash-and-grab robbery that ended in gunfire.
Four suspects, described by police as teenagers, walked into the Mobley Jewelry Company on Hwy. 61 around noon on Wednesday and smashed the display cases, according to investigators.
“We’re not sure about who produced the first weapon, but there was a shooting inside,” said Villa Rica Police Capt. Keith Shaddix. “One employee of the store was hit. He was pronounced dead on the scene.”
Four of the suspects fled in a black sedan, according to Shaddix. A fifth suspect, identified by witnesses as the 16-year old gunman, ran to a nearby fast food restaurant where he was cornered by police.
Friends identified the victim as business owner Mitch Mobley. His widow and son were inside the store as Mobley’s body was taken away. Their sobs were heart-wrenching.
Customers arriving at Mobley’s Jewelry Company were stunned to find bullet holes in the door and police tape surrounding the store.
“It’s shocking. This is a good neighborhood,” said customer Maurice Watson, who had come to renew the warranty on the wedding ring he bought at Mobley’s for his wife three years ago.
He described Mobley as friendly and engaging, always eager to help his customers.