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Crime News

Arrest Made In Triple Murder Of Georgia Coroner’s Family

Thomas and Evelyn Hawk and their grandson Luke were gunned down at the Lock, Stock & Barrel gun range, allegedly by Jacob Muse.

By Jax Miller
A police photo of Jacob Muse

A man has been arrested for the murders of a couple and their grandson at their family-owned gun range in rural Georgia.

Jacob Christian Muse, 21, was charged on Friday with three counts of malice murder for the deaths of Thomas and Evelyn Hawk, both 75, and the couple’s grandson, Alexander “Luke” Hawk, 18, according to a press release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. As previously reported, the three relatives were found shot to death at the Lock, Stock & Barrel gun range on April 8 in what is believed to be a robbery turned violent.

Richard Hawk, the Coweta County coroner, is the father of Alexander; Thomas and Evelyn are his parents. He was among those who found them dead at the Grantville, Georgia, business.

Officers with the Grantville Police Department responded to the scene when Richard called authorities at 8:08 p.m., according to the GBI. Investigators previously stated they believed someone murdered the Hawks sometime between 5:30 and 6:00 that evening.

“The individual(s) responsible for shooting and killing the Hawk family left the shooting range with a cache of firearms,” the GBI said Thursday, one day before they announced the arrest. “GBI crime scene specialists spent days documenting, collecting, and preserving evidence. They collected physical evidence from the scene and turned it over to the GBI and ATF crime labs for expedited analysis.”

According to the Grantville Police Department, the suspect(s) made off with approximately 40 weapons and surveillance equipment in what the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives called an “apparent armed robbery.”

Authorities did not release how they came to arrest Muse for the Hawk murders.

Following Muse’s arrest, the Hawk family made a statement, as published by Atlanta’s WSB-TV 2 News.

“We are encouraged and honored by the incredible efforts of our local law enforcement, including the Grantville Police and Coweta County Sheriff’s Department, as well as the ATF and GBI,” the statement read. “We understand from Chief Steve Whitlock that the current development with the murder suspect in custody was certainly a team effort. We are continuing the pray for their teams during this stressful time, and we will continue to pray for the redemption of the perpetrator.”

The triple homicide rocked the small community, especially law enforcement officials who had worked alongside Richard Hawk, who was elected county coroner back in 2012 and served as an emergency medical technician for nearly three decades.

“I’ve been here eight years, and we’ve never had anything like this,” Grantville Police Chief Steve Whitlock told the Atlanta outlet. “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.”

The ATF, along with the City of Grantville and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, issued a $15,000 reward for an arrest and conviction, as previously reported. That reward had climbed to $25,000, according to the GBI and the ATF.

Muse, who is from College Park, Georgia, was booked into the Coweta County Jail, according to the GBI. His arrest came one day after the three victims were laid to rest, according to WSB-TV.

“Thank you, again, to the City of Grantville and the community at large for such an outpouring of love and support. It is so meaningful that so many in our community cherished them as we did and have helped to shine a light in the darkness,” the Hawk family continued in their statement. “Tommy, Evelyn, and Luke Hawk have been laid to rest, but we will certainly see them again.”

Grantville Police announced plans for a candlelight vigil to be held at the Grantville ball fields on April 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Officials say the multi-agency investigation is still ongoing and active.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the GBI tip line at 1-800 597-TIPS (8477) or the ATF at 1-800-ATF-TIPS (283-8477). Authorities continue to ask for specific information regarding an unknown vehicle at the gun range between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. or anyone traveling along Bohannon Road in Grantville on the night of the murders.