911 calls released in deadly wine bar robbery
ATLANTA - Police released the four 911 calls associated with an extremely violent armed robbery at a popular wine bar in Atlanta’s Westside neighborhood which turned deadly for a well-loved employee.
The recordings are hard to hear, but outline the fear, panic, and desperation following the attack at the Barcelona Wine Bar located at 1085 Howell Mill Road. Atlanta Police hope the recordings sway anyone who knows about the men responsible to come forward so justice can be served.
The doors to the usually busy Westside Ironworks tapas bar continued to remain closed Wednesday to customers, more than four days after the brutal slaying and violent robbery.
Early Sunday morning, as the establishment was closing, three men stormed into the business. Video released earlier in the week show the men, some dressed in a distinctive style of clothing, binding employees as they go room-by-room. Police said what was not shown in the video they released was the men eventually approaching 29-year-old Chelsea Beller at gunpoint, forcing her into the upstairs office area to open the safe, before gunning her down.
Police said they received four calls following the vicious raid. Two of the emotional calls were from inside the restaurant, another was from an Uber driver, and the fourth from a parking lot security guard.
Caller: "I'm an Uber driver. I was supposed to pick someone up at a restaurant and two guys in hoodies got in and started yelling at people to get down. I think they have weapons."
Caller: "Oh, my god! It looks like they just robbed them."
Caller: "Someone's been shot."
The calls flooded started to flood the Atlanta 911 call center around 1:45 a.m. Sunday. An Uber driver told a dispatcher she was on the phone with someone inside the restaurant when the robbers entered.
Uber Driver: "I was talking to her. She was telling like go to the part… of the parking lot. And when I got there, I just heard them yelling ‘Get down!’ She was like ‘OK, OK.’ I couldn't hear anything else."
A parking lot security guard was also on the phone with 911. He thought something was odd at the restaurant.
Security Guard: "It looks like, um, I just seen like, like the employees just ran to the back and it looked like it was a dude that was, look like he ran there, that he was supposed to be."
Moments later, that same security guard sees three guys come running out.
Security Guard: "They just robbed the dude, at the door, they just robbed a Lyft driver. They were in a white car."
What witnesses outside Barcelona didn't know was that these robbers did more than just take the cash. One of Chelsea Beller’s co-workers made contact with 911.
Co-worker: "Chelsea can you hear me?"
Co-worker: "He’s wearing a mask, a skull mask, and ski mask
Operator: "A ski mask?"
Operator: "Ma’am, okay… just calm down… just calm down."
The outside of the closed establishment has been turned into a makeshift memorial to Chelsea Beller. Flowers, balloons, and other items were left in remembrance.
Investigators believe the key to solving the case is the unique style of clothing worn by the armed robbers. Police hope someone out there who knows who the suspect are will come forward, if not because of the severity of the crime, then the increasing reward which was raised to $7,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the three armed robbers.
Anyone with information is asked to call 404-577-TIPS (8477). Tipsters can remain anonymous.
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