BROOKHAVEN, Ga. – Police say a man who originally claimed to be a witness to a stabbing in Brookhaven is actually the suspect.
Denys Gonzalez Rodriguez, 32, was stabbed in the heart November 1st in front of a the Easy Shop convenience store.
Channel 2’s Mark Winne spoke to police, who said that as they interviewed witnesses inside the store, one man’s story didn’t add up.
Police found William Drake, 66, inside the store playing a video amusement machine. Drake initially said he saw Rodriguez talking with three Hispanic men who then ran from the scene.
When police reviewed the surveillance footage, the images told a different story, Brookhaven detective Corey Van Alen said.
The dramatic video clearly shows Drake pull a knife out of his pocket and stab Rodriguez. He then calmly put the knife back in his pocket and walked into the store.
“I was looking down at the video surveillance when I saw the offender,” Van Alen said. ” I looked up over in the direction of Mr. Drake was, looked back down again and confirmed that it was him, still wearing the exact same clothing.”
Van Alen immediately arrested Drake, who insisted it was him in the video but that he didn’t stab anybody.
Drake was charged with aggravated assault and possession of a knife during the commission of a felony. He told police he is a Vietnam veteran who suffers from PTSD.
Gonzalez is recovering in the hospital.
“Amazingly the next day he was conscious and alert and able to provide a statement to me,” Van Alen said.
Gonzalez told Van Alen he and Drake had a confrontation earlier and Drake may have had the delusion he had to protect the store. Drake often cleaned up the parking lot, though he does not officially work there.
Police are still searching for three juveniles who ran from the scene, but say they are not suspects.
Van Alen said in this case, the fact that Brookhaven police responded quickly and were able to gather witnesses — as well as the fact that officers had access to good surveillance video — were crucial.
© 2018 Cox Media Group.