Joanna Steed, an Atlanta paralegal who played the bass guitar for local band Lord High Admirals, was killed in a drive-by shooting the night of September 5th while practicing with the group in the basement of its drummer’s Decatur home.
Multiple bullets were fired at the house at approximately 8 p.m. At least one of them entered a basement window and struck the head of 42-year-old Steed, a paralegal working in trademark and patent law at the Bates & Bates law office. She died after being rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital.
DeKalb County police have said they believe two vehicles pulled into a cul-de-sac off Columbia Drive, where they stopped in front of the house at 1969 Shannon Ridge Court and either the drivers or possible passenger(s) opened fire. However, they’ve also said so far they have no witnesses, no video, no description of the vehicles or shooter(s), no leads and no motive. The area is rife with drug peddling and gang activity. A man that a neighbor told a WSB-TV reporter he saw outside the house the day before was subsequently identified and cleared.
A $2,500 reward has been offered by the DeKalb County Police Department, through Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta (404-577-8477), for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects. A separate GoFundMe account has been set up by Steed’s friends to raise money to fund a private reward for the same. Finally, another GoFundMe page is taking donations for her family.
Lord High Admirals also includes vocalist/guitarist Paul Schwartz (Big Fish Ensemble) and guitarist Rob Gal (Coolies, 6X, Anne Richmond Boston), both longtime veterans of the Atlanta music scene. The group released its self-titled debut CD in April. “She was a great friend that we are missing,” offered Schwartz, “and a great bass player, singer and musician who won’t be able to share her talents anymore.”
A celebration of Steed’s life is to be held on Saturday, Sept. 15 beginning at 11 a.m. at Virginia Highland Church, 743 Virginia Avenue.
Updated Sept. 13 at 11:48 a.m.