Police: Man posing as dog buyer shot, killed in near Atlanta by online sellers

Posted at 8:14 PM, Jan 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-30 20:14:53-05

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Investigators believe an online ad about a dog led to the shooting death of a man in a subdivision near Stone Mountain.

The deceased man had posed as a buyer, police said, but he actually intended to rob the dog breeders. One of the victims killed the man in self-defense, according to police.

Earlier Friday, police say that the ad was placed on popular online classifieds site Craigslist but corrected that at about 9:40 a.m. The ad for the dog was actually posted on several dog breeder websites, police learned.

According to Mekka Parish, a DeKalb County Police Department spokeswoman, Salvador Burgos, a dog breeder from Winder, agreed to meet the buyer on Fairforest Drive at midnight to sell him an English bulldog puppy for $2,000.

The breeder initially was reluctant about the meeting, Parish said.

“But the suspect offered him an additional $500, and so for $2,500, he then agreed to meet him,” said Parish.

He brought his Glock .40 handgun and his friend Walter Gonzalez for protection.

At a few minutes after midnight, according to police, Gonzalez and Burgos pulled up to the home. Gonzalez got out the car and showed the “buyer” the puppy. That’s when the man pointed a gun at him and demanded that Burgos get out of the car. Burgos told police that as he exited the car, he pulled out his own gun and fired it, killing the man.

“My wife heard the shots, and she woke me up,” said neighbor Jeffery Spence. “She looked out the window, and she said she saw a guy walking from the sidewalk to his vehicle, get back in it and drive away.”

Gonzalez and Burgos drove a short distance away and called 911, police said. They remained on the scene during the investigation and later were questioned at police headquarters.

It is unlikely that Burgos or Gonzalez will be charged in the man’s death, Parish said.

“As we began to look into all of this morning, we have since realized that we believe there are four additional cases that are connected to this deceased suspect,” Parish said. “All of them occurred at that location and all, we believe, involve that deceased suspect.”

Two of the previous victims had not reported the robberies until they saw the news on television Friday morning. At least one of the victims had met the suspect on Craigslist, police said.

Authorities have not yet identified the deceased suspect.

This is the second metro Atlanta death case this week involving online advertising. On Monday, Bud and June Runion of Cobb County were found shot to death in Telfair County after answering an ad on Craigslist about a car. Jay Towns, 28, is charged with their murders.