The job of managing a multifamily property is hectic, and often stressful - but it’s rarely (and blessedly) ever deadly. A tragic exception to that unfolded on August 22 in Atlanta, Georgia, when according to local news outlets a local condo manager and an accounting firm employee were shot and killed by a disgruntled condo resident and former employee of the firm. A building engineer was also shot, and remains hospitalized at the time of this writing.
According to one report, during the attack in the city’s Midtown area, “34-year-old Raissa Kengne, an ex-IT audit manager at public accounting firm BDO USA in Atlanta is accused of murdering her former supervisor and the property manager of the condominium building where she resided.”
Kengne allegedly used a handgun to fatally shoot 60-year-old property manager Michael Shinners and wound 68-year-old building engineer Mike Horne at the 1280 West condominium building on Atlanta’s West Peachtree Street. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, both men were employed by Beacon Management Services, which manages the condo. The outlet reports that “Police said yesterday during a news conference that Kengne lived in those condos.”
Shinners and Horne were found by authorities at around 1:45 p.m. Monday afternoon in the Beacon management office. Both were taken to the hospital, where Shinners was pronounced dead. Horne’s condition is not known at this time.
The Journal-Constitution reports that according to the arrest warrant, a third Beacon employee was held at gunpoint in the management office as Kengne demanded personal property from the employee before fleeing. About 30 minutes later, Kengne arrived at BDO headquarters at 1100 Peachtree St., where she allegedly shot 41-year-old BDO employee Wesley Freeman. Freeman was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital where he later died.
In a press conference on the day of the shootings, Atlanta police chief Darin Schierbaum said that the violence did not appear to be random. Indeed, according to The News & Observer, Kengne had been described by Beacon Management as a “disgruntled resident,” and had clashed with both the condo association and BDO prior to the alleged shootings. She had filed complaints against the companies, and “accused the condo association of letting people into her home to facilitate ‘harassment and retaliation’ from the accounting firm and others.”
The Midtown area went on lockdown immediately after the shootings as law enforcement officers from multiple agencies searched the area. According to press reports, Atlanta police credited the “extensive camera network” in the neighborhood with helping them track the suspect, who was apprehended about two hours after the shootings, attempting to enter a restricted area at the international terminal of the Atlanta airport.
As of this writing, Kengne is charged with two counts of felony murder, four counts of aggravated assault, four counts of possessing a gun during a felony, and one count of false imprisonment. She was denied bail and remains jailed in Fulton County.
In a statement released on August 23, Thomas M. Skiba, Chief Executive Officer of the Community Associations Institute, a professional organization serving and advocating for property managers, along with Jessica Towles, president of the CAI Board of Trustees, and Georgia CAI chapter president Kelley Moon released a statement addressing the shooting and its tragic aftermath:
“We are saddened and shocked as we mourn the loss of our friend, colleague, and dedicated member of the CAI Georgia Chapter. Michael Patrick Shinners, a community association manager with Beacon Management Services in Atlanta, was fatally wounded during the horrifying tragedy at the 1280 West condominium.
“Mr. Shinners, a longtime CAI member, was passionate about his profession and the chapter. He earned several industry designations from CAI, including the Association Management Specialist (AMS) designation and the Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM) designation, the pinnacle achievement for community association managers that demonstrates the highest level of commitment to the profession. He also earned his Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) credential, administered by the Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB).
“Our thoughts and prayers also are with the chief building engineer injured during the shooting as well as everyone affected by this tragedy. The CAI Georgia Chapter will continue to support Mr. Shinners’ family in any way possible.
“We know that each day, thousands of community managers and staff, homeowner leaders, and business partners serve essential roles in community associations. You bring years of financial and management expertise, and you’re often communicators, customer service agents, organizational leaders, and all-around problem-solvers. You’re the backbone of communities everywhere.
“This is a heartbreaking tragedy that should never happen in any town, city, or community. We believe that community associations are built to be places of comfort and safety, where neighbors support and help one another, and where residents develop a true sense of belonging.”
Hannah Fons is Managing Editor of CooperatorNews.