911 call offers insight in quadruple shooting

Robert Bell

Robert Bell

A neighbor saw it happen. Part of it, at least.

“Hello, hurry up, I need police,” she told the 911 operator. “We’ve got a man chasing a woman, he’s got a machine gun. He’s chasing her down the street, she might be dead. Hurry up. Hurry up.”

The woman identified the shooter as a man who lived next door at 4630 Anderson Livsey Lane, the man Gwinnett County police believe was Robert E. Bell. It was an assault rifle, not a machine gun, but they believe Bell shot four people Sunday night. Three of them, including 34-year-old Angelina Benton, died.

Benton was the woman the neighbor saw being attacked.

“He was chasing her,” she said. “He just kept shooting, he kept shooting. I’ve seen him, I watched him do it.”

Nearly 72 hours later, authorities were still searching for Bell.

Believed to have walked away from the scene in Centerville, not far from the DeKalb County line, authorities said Wednesday that Bell could possibly be traveling locally near Albany, or out-of-state in Crossville, Tenn., or Chicago. Described as a black man about six feet tall and 300 pounds, he has previous connections to all three areas, and police asked that information be broadcast as widely as possible.

Bell is considered armed and dangerous.

“Detectives believe that all of the victims, including the 12-year-old Joseph McDonald, were intentionally shot,” Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said. “The deceased victims were each shot multiple times. Detectives still do not know the suspect’s motive.”

Anyone with information on Bell’s whereabouts is asked to call Gwinnett County police at 770-513-5300. Anyone who comes into contact with him should call 911.

Justin Cato, Benton’s 23-year-old boyfriend, was shot twice in the lower left leg. In assault that included the murders of Benton’s 12-year-old son and 19-year-old godson, Cato was the sole survivor.

He called 911 from a ditch in front of the house. In the darkness, he hadn’t recognized the man who allegedly shot him.

“He just came up and shot everybody in the house,” Cato said.

“Did he say anything when he came in the house?” the emergency operator asked seconds later.

“No,” Cato replied calmly. “He just started shooting.”