A Georgia coroner found the slain bodies of his parents and son Friday in what authorities are describing as a triple homicide that happened during a suspected robbery.
Richard Hawk, who is the coroner in Coweta County, went to visit his parents’ gun shop Friday evening when he made the gruesome discovery and found his parents, Thomas Hawk, 75, Evelyn, 75 and his son, 19-year-old Luke, “had been murdered,” authorities said.
The incident unfolded sometime between 5:30 – 6:00 p.m., and officers were dispatched to the scene just after 8:00 p.m., according to the Grantville Police Department. Police said 40 weapons were taken from the scene and “due to the amount of weapons taken, the ATF was also called in to assist.” (RELATED: REPORT: Manager Fatally Shoots Man Trying To Rob His Store In The Head)
Grantville Police Chief Steve Whitlock said Saturday morning he’s never seen anything like this, according to WSB-TV.
“I’ve been here eight years and we’ve never had anything like this,” Whitlock reportedly said. “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.”
Whitlock told the outlet the couple had operated Lock Stock & Barrel shooting range for nearly three decades and that Luke was on spring break helping his grandparents.
Hawk spoke to The Guardian and said, “Tommy, Evelyn and Luke knew the Lord as their personal savior. … They died knowing the Lord, and they’re in heaven.”
“If anyone is out there who doesn’t know [the Lord], they need to — time is short,” he said.
TRAGIC: Tommy & Evelyn Hawk, along with their 19-yr-old grandson Luke, were shot & killed during a robbery at their gun shop & range in Grantville. A former @ATFAtlanta special agent in charge believes the shooters may have known the Hawks or been to the store before @11AliveNews pic.twitter.com/rhwXtvyEiB
— Dawn White (@DawnWhiteNews) April 10, 2022
Former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives special agent Scott Sweetow said he believes the victims knew the shooter or shooters, according to 11 Alive.
“One of the things that we find historically when looking at guns for burglaries is that people know what they’re targeting,” Sweetow reportedly said.
“It would not surprise me at all that once this is solved, and it will be solved, that the people were either familiar with the location because they have been in there multiple times or they had some other sort of inside knowledge about what was going on inside that store,” Sweetow continued, according to the report.
Sweetow said while gun store burglaries aren’t rare, they usually happen once the store is closed out of fear that owners will be on the premises and armed, according to the report.