Update: HOV lane shooting victim identified; now believed to be a suicide


The Gwinnett County Police Department has identified the woman who died of a gunshot wound in the HOV lane of I-85 this morning Sonja Lucretta Richardson, 25, of Norcross. Her next-of-kin has been notified. Investigators now believe her death was likely the result of suicide.

The Accident Investigation Unit assisted with the accident reconstruction of this incident so investigators could determine her course of travel just before the final resting place of the blue 2017 Hyundai Elandra she was driving.

“Once the GCPD Investigators, Medical Examiner’s Office Investigator, and Crime Scene Unit were able to enter the vehicle to continue the investigation, they found elements that lean towards this case being a suicide.  However, the final ruling will need to be made by the Medical Examiner’s Office upon the conclusion of the autopsy,” GCPD said in an updated press release. So, for now, the investigation is moving from a homicide investigation to a death investigation.


The Gwinnett County Police Department is investigating the death of a woman found dead inside her vehicle in the HOV lane of Interstate 85 northbound just south of Jimmy Carter Boulevard on Thursday morning, Oct. 31, 2019. They are asking for any information the public may have in connection with this case.

“At around 5:30am, officers assigned to the West Precinct were dispatched to a roadway hazard on the interstate. The vehicle was found resting upon the median wall. The officers found the body of a woman inside the vehicle in the driver’s seat. There was a significant amount of blood. The Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s Office was contacted. Based on their observations, the woman’s injuries did not appear to be a suicide attempt,” according to a press release from GCPD.

GCPD report that the victim is a black woman. Her identity and vehicle description is being withheld until her next of kin can be notified.

If anyone has any information to share in this case, they are asked to contact GCPD detectives at 770-513-5300.  To remain anonymous, tipsters should contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.stopcrimeATL.com.  Crime Stoppers tipsters can receive a cash reward for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case.  Case Number:  19-100335

Initial story

Gwinnett County Police Department reported this morning that officers and detectives are at the scene of a death investigation on I.85 Northbound just south of Jimmy Carter Boulevard in the HOV lane.

“According to the Medical Examiner’s Office, the death does not appear to be a suicide. The GCPD Homicide Unit and Crime Scene Unit is en route,” GCPD reported just before 9 a.m. on Oct. 31, 2019. “The method of injury appears to be a gunshot wound.  Traffic is affected by this investigation.”

Full details to follow when available.

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