LAWRENCEVILLE - Quadruple homicide suspect Richard Ringold shot each of his murder victims - including an 11-year-old girl - execution-style during a domestic rampage last week, a detective testified Friday.
Gwinnett police Det. JR Dominguez said Ringold, 44, shot four people in the head and the only surviving victim, a 4-year-old girl, in the shoulder. She was shot in the home's kitchen but scampered upstairs, later telling police, "Rich shot my family," Dominguez said.
The girl has since been released from an Atlanta children's hospital and "is doing fine," though her mother and older sister were killed, Dominguez said.
Ringold is accused of killing the unnamed 11-year-old girl, Atania Butler, 28, Rico Zimmerman, 19, and Lakeisha Parker, 30. He's charged with four counts of malice murder and one count of aggravated assault.
Butler was the mother of both girls who were shot, police said.
Dominguez said Ringold and Butler had been arguing outside the Lawrenceville home they shared when he ordered her inside at gunpoint, shot her in the doorway then opened fire on the others. The sequence of the killing is unclear, he said.
Zimmerman was fleeing out the back door when he turned and asked Ringold to "chill out" and was killed, Dominguez said.
One woman, believed to be Zimmerman's girlfriend, fled several houses away and called 911.
The shootings mark the highest body count for a single homicide scene in Gwinnett in two decades.
Chief Magistrate Judge George Hutchinson bound all counts against Ringold to Superior Court. Ringold's attorney, Charlie Wrinkle, said he plans to file a motion for a bond hearing next week, though his client's chance of being set free are nil, he said.
Wrinkle said he expects the state to seek the death penalty for Ringold. District Attorney Danny Porter is waiting for the police investigation to conclude before making that decision.
Ringold arrived at the crime scene shortly after midnight and surrendered without incident. He claimed he had been visiting a friend named "Two" in Stone Mountain and had no knowledge of the killings, Dominguez said.
Wrinkle said his client has no history of violence and hardly more than a traffic ticket on his record. He formerly worked as a cook at a defunct restaurant and has three children with the Loganville woman he's still technically married to. The children include a son in his 20s who's eager to visit Ringold in jail, Wrinkle said.
Asked about his client's response to the allegations, Wrinkle said, "He's shocked, literally. He's spoken to his minister, who's a DeKalb police officer, and said he didn't know what happened."
Wrinkle said a witness recalled seeing Ringold and Butler chatting outside their home a couple hours before the killings, "and everything was fine." The murder weapon has not been recovered, he said.