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North Carolina authorities are investigating a murder-suicide that occurred on Wednesday morning, where a firefighter was shot to death as he left the residence of his alleged killer's wife's home.
Authorities believe that Andrew Lee Myers, 26, had been waiting for Rowan County fireman Tyler Hamilton outside of Myers' estranged wife's duplex. After Hamilton, 30, left the house around noon, Myers allegedly emerged from his pickup truck and shot him once in the head, killing Hamilton. Police say Myers then proceeded to enter the residence and confronted his estranged wife, Alaina Myers, before shooting himself, local paper The Salisbury Post reports.
Police Chief Mark Cook classified the killing as a fatal domestic situation.
"We had received several phone calls about gunshots at a residence," Cook told reporters. "Myself and another officer were on scene in about a minute. On our arrival, we found two male victims — both had apparent gunshot (wounds) ... both parties were deceased."
Hamilton's childhood friend Anna Lingle told The Salisbury Post that she has little reason to think that he was in a romantic relationship with Alaina, and believes they were just friends.
"He was the kind of person who would reach out no matter what's going on with him to make sure others would have a smile on their face," Lingle said. "He was sweet and kind and his personality was out of this world."
Hamilton began his career as a junior firefighter and worked along with his father Rick, a captain at the Franklin Fire Department, and his brother Trevor, according to The Salisbury Post. He was named the Firefighter of the Year for the Millers-Ferry Department in December, an award he also won with other departments across Rowan County, WBTV reports.
"He was a really good boy," his mother, Jill, told the station. "He loved God, he loved his momma ... he was really close to his brother. We want to remember Tyler for what he loved most, and that was firefighting."
In a statement, Rowan County Fire Division Chief Deborah Horne said, "With the tragic events that unfolded yesterday in Granite Quarry, our emergency services family across Rowan County is deeply saddened. Our prayers today are with the families and friends of all those affected."
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