Georgia Coroner Finds His Parents and His Teenage Son Shot to Death Inside Family Business
Investigators are asking for the public's help in shocking murders of three family members.
A tight-knit Georgia town is reeling after the local coroner stumbled upon the bodies of his parents and his son, who were all shot to death inside the family business.
Coweta County Coroner Richard Hawk had gone to Lock Stock & Barrell, his parent's shooting range and gun store, on Friday evening to see why they hadn't returned home at their normal time. Hawk's 18-year-son, Luke, was also at the store, helping his grandparents while he was on spring break.
Inside, Hawk found his 75-year-old parents and his son shot to death, their bodies just feet apart, authorities said.
The business was well-known to the small town of Grantville and the owners were pillars of the church and community. The Hawks had operated the range and gun store for 30 years.
"My heart is broken," wrote Coweta County Sheriff Lenn Wood, who is a friend of the family.
"Now is the time that our Coweta family needs to direct our thoughts and prayers to Richard and his family. Theresa, my family, Sheriff’s Office members and I hurting for you and your family and we will be beside you always.
"With a broken heart,
"Lenn Wood," the sheriff wrote on the department's Facebook page.
About 40 weapons and the store's security camera were stolen, authorities said.
Because of the high number of stolen guns, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are helping the investigation. Also on the case is the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Grantville Police Department, and the sheriff's office.
Authorities are seeking the public's help and asking anyone who drove by the gun range between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Friday to contact investigators.
Meanwhile, residents and local law enforcement struggled to make some small sense of the senseless murders.
“It’s really hard because we don’t have stuff like this here in Grantville,” police chief Steve Whitlock told WSB-TV. “This is a nice, quiet little town ... I’ve been here eight years and we’ve never had anything like this. Right now, I’m just speechless. I have a hard time talking about it because they were friends of ours. I’ve known them for a long time.”
A GoFundMe account was established by a family member to help with funeral costs.
"They were such amazing people who believed in the Lord and loved with all that they had. Each would give you the shirt off of their back if you needed it," wrote Felicia Walker, a granddaughter of the slain couple.
"Nothing hurts worse than losing loved ones, but losing three at one time is heart wrenching," she said. "To say that they will be missed is an understatement. No words can describe the pain my family feels."
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