After shooting at family member on Cobb streets, man gets 7 years in prison
Following his arrest for firing multiple gunshots at a family member on a public road in Cobb County, Rico Laprince Southall pleaded guilty and has received a federal sentence for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Southall’s gunfire also struck another motorist’s vehicle.
Arrest records show that on April 1, 2021, Southall targeted the victim, a member of his family, as she drove in Powder Springs, Georgia.
Southall pursued the victim’s vehicle through the residential area and fired multiple rounds at her vehicle, all while he and the victim were traveling on a public road. Several rounds struck the victim’s vehicle and entered the passenger compartment of the vehicle, with at least one round striking an unoccupied infant safety seat.
Southall also struck another car during his gunfire. When Cobb County Police officers arrested Southall, he was in possession of a weapon equipped with an extended magazine and a revolver that was reported stolen out of Pennsylvania.
The case was adopted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and presented to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for federal prosecution. After pleading guilty, to one federal count of possession of a firearm, Judge Eleanor L. Ross sentenced Southall to seven years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Assistant U.S Attorney Norman L. Barnett prosecuted the case. Southall’s Cobb County charges remain pending.
U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan said, “Southall’s illegal possession and dangerous use of these weapons are serious crimes that show how gun violence is a risk to all of us. Keeping firearms out of the hands of convicted felons and individuals with violent criminal histories is essential to protecting the citizens of the district and reducing gun violence. Fortunately, no one was injured or killed because of this defendant’s egregious disregard for the safety of our community.”
“ATF will continue to work alongside our Federal, State, and local partners in furtherance of reducing violent crime,” said ATF Atlanta Field Division Special Agent in Charge Ben Gibbons.
Cobb County Police Chief Stuart VanHoozer said, “The Cobb County Police Department is exceptionally proud of the actions of the officers, detectives, and civilian staff who were involved in this case and countless other cases like this. The sacrifice these men and women make each time they place the badge and vest on to protect the people of Cobb County is a testament to their character, selflessness, and bravery. The impact of their actions is simply impossible to measure. Through the continued work of seizing illegal guns and removing very violent offenders from our streets, far fewer of our Cobb County community members are shot, killed, and maimed. We are thankful for the continued strong support from Project Safe Neighborhoods, the ATF, and our other federal partners, and we’re equally grateful for the dedication of our local officers, detectives, and civilians here in Cobb County.”
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). In keeping with the Attorney General’s mission to reduce violent crime. The Northern District of Georgia’s PSN program focuses on prosecuting those individuals who most significantly drive violence in our communities, and supports and fosters partnerships between law enforcement and schools, the faith community, and local community leaders to prevent and deter future criminal conduct.