Marietta police suspect murder-suicide in bodies found after SWAT team standoff

Marietta police SUV

Investigators believe that the two bodies found in an Amy Lane house after the Marietta and Cobb Sheriff SWAT teams were called in were the result of a murder-suicide. See the original story after this update for a description of how the incident began.

Officer Chuck McPhilamy distributed the following update this afternoon after the preliminary investigation had been done and the dead were identified.:

We can now confirm that the two individuals found deceased inside 258 Amy drive were thirty-five-year-old Courtney Dobberson-Watts and thirty-seven-year-old Michael Reno.  The house was being rented by Dobberson-Watts and according to their families the two were in a relationship.  Evidence indicates that this was a murder-suicide.  No other information is available at this time.  This remains an open investigation and anyone with information is urged to contact the Marietta Police Department (770-794-5300) or Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta (404-577-8477) if you wish to remain anonymous. 

Original story

Two people were discovered dead, including the suspect, after the Marietta Police Department and Cobb County Sheriff SWAT teams attempted to negotiate the surrender of a suspect in auto theft and other crimes who was barricaded in a house on Amy Drive.

A public information release from Officer Chuck McPhilamy of the Marietta Police Department described the incident as follows:

At 3:51 PM Saturday April 6, 2024, Marietta Police Department (MPD) officers notified Cobb County 911 dispatch that they had located a vehicle with a stolen license plate parked on Amy Drive via a Flock Safety camera alert.  The officers had been canvasing the area based on the license plate reader alert.  When the officers approached the vehicle, the driver fled from them inside the residence at 258 Amy Drive.  During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the same suspect was a person of interest in connection with a theft of a large amount of guns and cash from a residence in Paulding County.  When the suspect, now identified as thirty-seven-year-old Michael Allen Reno, refused to come outside, the MPD Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team was activated. 

MPD SWAT requested assistance from the Cobb County Sheriffs Office, and both SWAT teams worked methodically to negotiate a peaceful surrender.  According to detectives with the Paulding County Sheriffs Office, Michael Reno is accused of taking over $18,000 in cash and approximately $20,000 in handguns and rifles from his brothers’ residence.  While attempting to make contact with Reno, at least one rifle was visible from outside the house.

At approximately 10:15 PM the teams made entry into the residence with drones.  At approximately 10:40 PM SWAT operators made entry into the residence where they found Reno’s body barricaded in a back room with multiple weapons.  An adult female was also laying on the ground near him, both deceased.   

According to the public information release no other information is available at this time, and the incident is still under investigation.

About the City of Marietta

The City of Marietta is the county seat of Cobb County. The latest estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau puts the population of the city at 60,867 which makes it the second largest city in Cobb County by population, smaller only than the newly incorporated City of Mableton.

Here are a few quick facts from the Census Bureau

Marietta city, Georgia
Population, Census, April 1, 202060972
Population, Census, April 1, 201056579
Age and Sex
Persons under 5 years, percent6.7%
Persons under 18 years, percent21.8%
Persons 65 years and over, percent13.2%
Female persons, percent49.9%
Race and Hispanic Origin
White alone, percent53.4%
Black or African American alone, percent(a)32.3%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent(a)0.6%
Asian alone, percent(a)1.9%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent(a)0.0%
Two or More Races, percent4.7%
Hispanic or Latino, percent(b)15.7%
White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent46.4%
Population Characteristics
Veterans, 2016-20202678
Foreign born persons, percent, 2016-202016.6%
Owner-occupied housing unit rate, 2016-202044.0%
Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2016-2020$310,100
Median selected monthly owner costs -with a mortgage, 2016-2020$1,856
Median selected monthly owner costs -without a mortgage, 2016-2020$526
Median gross rent, 2016-2020$1,145
Families & Living Arrangements
Households, 2016-202024148
Persons per household, 2016-20202.39
Living in same house 1 year ago, percent of persons age 1 year+, 2016-202077.9%
Language other than English spoken at home, percent of persons age 5 years+, 2016-202023.7%
Computer and Internet Use
Households with a computer, percent, 2016-202095.1%
Households with a broadband Internet subscription, percent, 2016-202086.6%
High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2016-202088.6%
Bachelor’s degree or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2016-202044.0%
With a disability, under age 65 years, percent, 2016-20206.3%
Persons without health insurance, under age 65 years, percent20.2%
In civilian labor force, total, percent of population age 16 years+, 2016-202067.2%
In civilian labor force, female, percent of population age 16 years+, 2016-202061.2%
Total accommodation and food services sales, 2012 ($1,000)(c)264544
Total health care and social assistance receipts/revenue, 2012 ($1,000)(c)1584232
Total manufacturers shipments, 2012 ($1,000)(c)1129407
Total retail sales, 2012 ($1,000)(c)1976915
Total retail sales per capita, 2012(c)$33,875
Mean travel time to work (minutes), workers age 16 years+, 2016-202028.5
Income & Poverty
Median household income (in 2020 dollars), 2016-2020$59,594
Per capita income in past 12 months (in 2020 dollars), 2016-2020$36,112
Persons in poverty, percent14.1%
All firms, 201210501
Men-owned firms, 20124934
Women-owned firms, 20124186
Minority-owned firms, 20124286
Nonminority-owned firms, 20125502
Veteran-owned firms, 20121015
Nonveteran-owned firms, 20128663
Population per square mile, 20102451.4
Land area in square miles, 201023.08