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Gunman kills woman at CNN Center

Story Highlights

• Security guard shoots gunman after attack on woman
• Atlanta police describe shooting as "domestic situation"
• CNN writer witnesses man shoot woman near newsroom
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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A man shot and killed a woman inside the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Tuesday afternoon before being shot by a security guard.

The gunman was dragging the woman by her hair minutes before shots were fired, said one witness, who tried to intervene and was told to get out of the way by the attacker.

The witness, who had gone to get help from a guard, then heard the gunfire immediately outside CNN.com's newsroom at about 1:30 p.m.

John Helton, a CNN.com producer, had a direct view of the gunman through glass doors. "I saw him coming down the escalator pulling her along, around the corner; he ran into the plant and that's when they started struggling," he said. (Read more witness accounts)

"She seemed to be trying to wrestle free of him," he said.

Helton said the woman appeared to be shot at point-blank range. "He looked like he had the gun right on top of her head and shot her." (Gallery: Scenes from the shooting)

After the shots, CNN.com writer Brad Lendon said, the gunman "looked around, his head turning in my direction. I don't know if he saw me, but at that moment the gravity of what I'd witnessed hit me. I turned away and tried to find the safest way I could out." (Watch Brad Lendon describe what he did next Video )

The gunman was then shot by Capt. Odell Adams, who joined Turner Security in 1996, according to a spokesperson for Turner, the parent company for CNN.

Preliminary reports indicate that the suspect was shot in the face, a law enforcement source said on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Ambulances transported the gunman and the victim, 22-year-old Clara Riddles, to Grady Memorial Hospital. Riddles, who witnesses said appeared to be pregnant, died from her injuries. The shooter was undergoing surgery and was in "severely critical condition," the hospital said. (Watch suspect at gunpoint, wounded woman on floor Video )

Riddles, who lived in the Atlanta suburb of College Park, worked for the Omni Hotel, according to Investigator Betty Honey of the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office. The gunman has not been named, but Atlanta police called the shooting a "domestic situation," and said the gunman was an ex-boyfriend of Riddles.

The CNN Center was particularly busy Tuesday, following Monday night's NCAA championship game in the nearby Georgia Dome.

Omni spokesperson Michael Sullivan is refusing to comment on the incident.

One woman, who was visiting the CNN Center, said she saw security guards running with their guns drawn.

"The kids were pretty shaken up and it was pretty scary. And it wasn't until we came back in after the fact and looked up on the CNN screen that we had learned what had really happened," she said.

The CNN.com newsroom was temporarily evacuated. Some workers had already scrambled out of the building seeking cover after hearing shots.


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An officer stands over the wounded gunman after a shooting near the Omni Hotel at Atlanta's CNN Center.

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