Atlanta officer accused of killing woman he met on Craigslist - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Atlanta police officer accused of killing woman he met on Craigslist

Tahreem Zeus Rana Tahreem Zeus Rana
Vernicia Woodard Vernicia Woodard
HAPEVILLE, GA (CBS46) -

Police have arrested an Atlanta police officer accused of shooting a woman and burning her body in Hapeville.

The Hapeville Police Department issued arrest warrants for Tahreem Zeus Rana on the charges of murder, arson and kidnapping. He was arrested around 9 a.m. Thursday at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport attempting to get on a flight to Mexico.

On Aug. 22, a Hapeville city employee found the body of a woman on fire at the end of Elm Street.

Police said the woman, Vernicia Woodard, 26, was shot multiple times and set on fire.

"First he took her to a secluded area to do the crime and then after killing her, he used some kind of fuel to light the body on fire in order to cover up any type of evidence that may be there," said Detective Stephen Cushing.

Hapeville police said Rana and Woodard met on Craigslist for a "romantic exchange" and the night she was killed was the first time they had met in person.

Rana was questioned Wednesday by police. Later in the day evidence at the scene and Internet correspondence led them to consider him a suspect, but police couldn't find him.

Rana is currently employed by the City of Atlanta Police Department as a police officer. He was supposed to go to work Wednesday night but never showed up.

Police put Rana on the no-fly list, let him get through security to ensure he was not armed, then moved in to arrest him.

"We are shocked and saddened by these developments. The officer has been relieved from duty, and is in a non-enforcement status. Chief Turner will schedule an emergency hearing immediately today to determine the next course of action. We must allow the justice system to run its course. But these clearly are very disturbing allegations that are not in line with the expectations we have for our officers, and will be immediately dealt with," said APD Public Affairs Director Carlos Campos.

Rana grew up in Hapeville. Officers there said they knew his family.

"It's very saddening to many of the people here," said Cushing. "Officers actually remember him walking to school here as a young boy saying when I grow up I want to be a police officer. It's very disheartening to see somebody you grew up with, seeing a young boy change his life and go this route."

Woodard had just moved to Atlanta from New York. She does have some family in the area.

Police have not said what might have led to her death.

Rana is now in the Fulton County Jail and will appear in court Friday morning.

Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Police respond to robbery by snatching at Albany package store

    Police respond to robbery by snatching at Albany package store

    Saturday, March 25 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-03-26 03:32:15 GMT

    Albany Police have responded to a robbery by snatching at the National Package Store on Oakridge Drive. Dispatch has confirmed the call came in just before 8 p.m. Saturday, and the suspect fled the scene.

    More >>

    Albany Police have responded to a robbery by snatching at the National Package Store on Oakridge Drive. Dispatch has confirmed the call came in just before 8 p.m. Saturday, and the suspect fled the scene.

    More >>
  • "The Voice" contestant J Chosen helps community at Albany Strong Fun Fest

    "The Voice" contestant J Chosen helps community at Albany Strong Fun Fest

    Saturday, March 25 2017 10:32 PM EDT2017-03-26 02:32:57 GMT
    (Source: WALB)(Source: WALB)

    The focus Saturday was on taking a break from storm cleanup and recovery, and to have a little bit of fun at the Albany Strong Fun Fest. The festival happened all day, with bands hitting the stage from 12:30 to 7 p.m.

    More >>

    The focus Saturday was on taking a break from storm cleanup and recovery, and to have a little bit of fun at the Albany Strong Fun Fest. The festival happened all day, with bands hitting the stage from 12:30 to 7 p.m.

    More >>
  • Former America's Got Talent finalist visits Albany for "Seniors on the Runway"

    Former America's Got Talent finalist visits Albany for "Seniors on the Runway"

    Saturday, March 25 2017 9:46 PM EDT2017-03-26 01:46:19 GMT
    (Source: WALB)(Source: WALB)

    A big voice with roots in South Georgia visited Albany this weekend. Quintavious Johnson placed fifth on America's Got Talent back in 2014. He has family who lives here in Albany.

    More >>

    A big voice with roots in South Georgia visited Albany this weekend. Quintavious Johnson placed fifth on America's Got Talent back in 2014. He has family who lives here in Albany.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly