A fugitive who was being sought in an armed robbery attempt and shootout at a Fayetteville restaurant was found dead in a Covington apartment complex Tuesday by law enforcement officials, who had an arrest warrant for the man.
Leandro Bernard Johnson, 27, of Ellenwood, was found dead of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a Wellington Ridge apartment unit around 9:30 a.m., according to Jim Joyner, a supervisor with the U.S. Marshals Service Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, the multi-agency group that went to arrest Johnson.
Joyner said Johnson was the last of the three suspects to be caught and was the alleged ringleader of the group; he was wanted for felony murder, because one of his fellow robbers died as a result of the shootout.
The task force received information that Johnson was staying with a relative in Covington, a fact confirmed by the relative, Joyner said. Johnson was found in the apartment’s closet; emergency officials declared him dead at the scene.
No restaurant workers died in the attempted robbery and shootout on Oct. 11 at the China Café restaurant on Glynn Street in Fayetteville, but one employee remains hospitalized in serious condition, Johnson said.
According to a story on WSBTV.com, two masked robbers, one of whom was Johnson, entered the back door of the restaurant just before 11 p.m. and held three employees at gunpoint; the third man, 26-year-old Alvin James Scott, of Jonesboro, was the alleged getaway driver.
One of the employees also had a gun and shot one of the robbers, later identified as 25-year-old Alonzo Starks, of Morrow, in the head; Johnson returned gunfire, injuring a different employee, according to WSBTV.com.
The robbers got away, but Starks was found dead in an abandoned home Oct. 14, while Scott was arrested the same day at his Jonesboro home, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is handling the investigation of Johnson’s death, Joyner said.