State News

Raleigh woman found shot to death in Atlanta apartment

Posted July 15, 2010 8:04 a.m. EDT
Updated July 16, 2010 8:18 a.m. EDT

— A Raleigh woman found shot to death in an Atlanta apartment on Wednesday had been targeted, according to Atlanta police.

The woman was identified as Zaquavia Kingsberry, 33, according to Atlanta Police Maj. Keith Meadows. He said she had been shot two or three times.

"There are certain levels of security inside this building, so we're certain whomever was inside the apartment or inside the building or the common areas had access to it," Meadows told WGCL-TV, the CBS affiliate in Atlanta.

Her friend told police they had eaten breakfast together at the apartment in the city's tony Buckhead district. Officers said the man told them that he left the apartment and returned to find Kingsberry shot dead.

Neighbors were shaken by the shooting and told WGCL that the police theory that Kingsberry was targeted offers little reassurance.

"I'm hoping it's more of a domestic dispute rather than something we need to be worried about," said Caragh Strichter, who lives a few doors away in the Gramercy at Buckhead apartment complex. "You walk by people every single day going to and from your place, and you just don't know what's going to happen the next day. It's scary."

Kingsberry was an employee of Urban Ministries of Wake County and worked with homeless women in the Helen Wright Center for Women, according to human resources manager Kathleen Donahue.

Family and friends said Kingsberry went to Atlanta with a friend, and they said Thursday that they cannot understand how she could have been targeted by a killer.

Sam McLean, director of crisis support for Urban Ministries, said he learned about Kingsberry's death in a late-night phone call and said he and other staffers were devastated by the news.

"She was a no-nonsense type person. She was dependable, reliable and flexible. She cared about the population," McLean said, adding that Kingsberry often went out of her way to provide meals for the 36 women she supervised when she didn't have to.

Ralph Hartung of StepUP Ministry said Kingsberry recently graduated from the program, which teaches people life skills and helps them obtain jobs and housing so they can be productive citizens. She had recently purchased a home in southeast Raleigh, he said.

"She was a fine lady. She had her act together," Hartung said. "Why do bad things happen to good people? This is not the way it's supposed to be."

Curtis Williams, a friend and former co-worker of Kingsberry, said she never hesitated to help out her friends.

“If she didn’t know how to do it, she’ll find somebody else that would do it for you,” he said. “I know a lot of people say that about a lot of people but Zaquavia really, genuinely was a nice person.”

Williams said Kingsberry was a hard working mother of two sons, a teenager and a 4-year-old, and would sometimes hold down two and three jobs to make ends meet.