Courageous K-9 Apprehends Man Who Murdered Woman Inside Marietta Mexican Restaurant

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MARIETTA, GA – A police K-9 helped track down and apprehend a man who shot a woman dead inside the El Ranchero Restaurant in Marietta, Georgia on Sunday as Kennesaw State University was put into lockdown after the shooter fled to the campus.

According to the Marietta Police Department, on Sunday afternoon, at approximately 2:29 PM multiple witnesses inside the El Ranchero restaurant located at 562 Cobb Parkway South called Cobb County 911 to report a shooting that had just occurred.

“The callers were overwhelmed with emotion and struggled to convey what they had just seen,” the department said. “The 911 call-takers were able to calm the witnesses enough to gather information swiftly and get Marietta officers, Metro Ambulance and Marietta Fire paramedics all en route.”

Witnesses stated that the armed shooter ran out of the restaurant and into the woods behind the building. Marietta officers arrived within approximately one minute and found a female victim, forty-three-year-old Janice Ross of Atlanta Georgia on the floor of the restaurant with a gunshot wound to her neck. Despite the efforts of all first responders, Ross did not survive the injury and expired before she could be transported.

“A description of the suspect, now identified as fifty-year-old Jose Lemus-Maldonado of Duluth Georgia was given to all surrounding agencies. Multiple K9’s were brought in to assist with the location of the suspect. Their track took them West, onto the Marietta campus of Kennesaw State University,” police here said. “KSU was immediately notified and locked down their Marietta campus. The track turned South toward the campus of Life University and once again they were notified and requested to lock down. Georgia State Patrol (GSP) was notified and sent their helicopter to assist in the search. The suspect was hiding in thick brush behind the Walter Kelly Sr. Memorial baseball field and not visible to the approaching officers.”

K9 Jacquo was leading the track and apprehended the suspect, allowing our officers to place him in handcuffs. Lemus-Maldonado was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital for minor injuries related to the apprehension. He was subsequently booked into the Cobb County Adult Detention Center charged with Felony Malice Murder.

“The Marietta Police Department would like to formally thank EVERYONE that assisted in the apprehension of this armed suspect including but not limited to the witnesses that called to report the shooting, Cobb County 911 call-takers, 911 dispatchers, Cobb County Police Officers, KSU Police and GSP Troopers,” the department said today. “The suspect attempted to escape on foot and hide in the woods, making his way approximately one mile South of the restaurant. The seamless cooperation of so many dedicated professionals working with our officers and K9 teams led to this armed suspect being located and taken into custody less than one hour after the shooting occurred.”