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A county coroner in Georgia made a grisly discovery when finding his parents and son dead at their family-owned gun range.
Thomas and Evelyn Hawk, both 75, and their grandson Luke, 18, were murdered on Friday evening at the Lock, Stock & Barrel Gun Range in Grantville, Georgia, according to NBC affiliate 11 Alive News. As reported by The Guardian, Coweta County Coroner Richard Hawk found his parents and son dead in what police say was a robbery turned violent.
“Tommy, Evelyn, and Luke knew the Lord as their personal savior,” the bereaved Richard Hawk told the outlet. “They died knowing the Lord, and they’re in heaven.”
Officers were dispatched to the gun range, owned by Thomas and Evelyn, shortly after 8:00 p.m. on Friday, according to the Grantville Police Department. Authorities believe the triple homicide occurred between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m. that evening.
Police said the three victims were shot to death, according to 11 Alive News.
“I’ve been here eight years, and we’ve never had anything like this,” Grantville Police Chief Steve Whitlock told WSB-TV 2 Atlanta. “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.”
Officers enlisted the help of the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) when it was discovered that the killer or killers made off with approximately 40 weapons and security cameras from the scene. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is also on the case.
The murders shook the small community of little more than 3,000 residents, including Coweta County Sheriff Lenn Wood, who personally knew the victims.
“Family was taken from the Hawk family, and us, way too soon, and we are left with hurt, pain, and very little answers,” Wood stated on Saturday. “I am a life-long member of Coweta, and every family, especially the Hawk family, are a valuable and precious part of my life.”
Sheriff Wood named Coroner Richard Hawk as a personal friend and a “committed public servant” who has served the law enforcement community for decades.
“Now is the time that our Coweta family needs to direct our thoughts and prayers to Richard and his family,” Sheriff Wood continued. “Theresa, my family, sheriff’s office members, and I [are] hurting for you and your family, and we will be beside you always.”
According to the Guardian, Richard Hawk was elected Coweta Coweta coroner back in 2012 and served as an emergency medical technician for nearly three decades.
“It’s really hard because we don’t have stuff like this here in Grantville,” Chief Whitlock continued. “This is a nice, quiet, little town.”
The ATF, along with the City of Grantville and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, has issued a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer or killers, according to their press release.
“ATF and our law enforcement partners will work tirelessly to bring the killer(s) to justice,” said Atlanta Field Division Special Agent in Charge Benjamin P. Gibbons. “The brutality of these senseless murders along with the fact that these killer(s) have acquired additional firearms make solving this case our top priority.”
According to the ATF, the Lock, Stock & Barrel shooting range is a federal firearms licensee.
“Armed suspects and stolen firearms pose a potential danger to citizens and communities,” the ATF release continued.
Authorities from multiple law enforcement agencies are seeking the public’s help, especially if they noticed a vehicle, other than a white Ford truck and a black Ford Expedition, at the gun range between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. on Friday. They’re also looking for anyone traveling along Bohannon Road in Grantville around the time of the murders.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the GBI tip line at 1-800-597-TIPS (8477), the ATF at 1-800-ATF-TIPS (283-8477).
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