April 4, 2007 / 5:14 AM / 11 years ago

Deadly shots fired at CNN Center in Atlanta

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - CNN found itself reporting live Tuesday on a deadly shooting close to home: inside the building that houses its downtown Atlanta television center.

The incident occurred at about 1:30 p.m. at the Marrietta Street entrance to the Omni Hotel, which is part of the CNN Center complex that also includes CNN’s headquarters and the studios. Sources said a man and woman got into an argument near the escalators, and the man pulled out a gun and fired two shots.

Turner Broadcasting System Inc. security officers responded immediately, and one Turner officer shot the suspect. Turner security guards normally carry weapons, TBS said.

“We heard screaming and people diving for cover, and you could see people running from the front of the entrance of CNN Center,” said CNN producer Laura Bernardini, who was having lunch nearby when the shooting occurred.

The shooting caused chaos in the CNN Center, with the CNN.com headquarters about 30 feet away and within view of the escalators and crime scene. CNN.com’s offices were evacuated, though there apparently weren’t any other evacuations in the building.

The shooting caused quickened pulses upstairs in the CNN studio.

“A lot of nerves are rattling here at the CNN Center now on the news that two people have been wounded in a shooting right here at the CNN center,” anchor Christi Paul said on the air. “Just a few minutes ago, some of our crew ran in here screaming because they heard multiple gunshots.”

CNN showed video, taken at a distance through glass doors, showing a suspect on the floor, wearing a light-colored shirt, waving his left hand in the air with a police officer holding a gun at him.

Atlanta police didn’t immediately release the name of the suspect or the woman who was shot. A Turner source said neither was a CNN employee.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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