Crime Suspect Arrested in Connection with the Triple Murders of Ga. Gun Range Owner and Family

03:50  17 april  2022
03:50  17 april  2022 Source:   people.com

Police: 3 dead in gun range shooting; 40 weapons stolen

  Police: 3 dead in gun range shooting; 40 weapons stolen GRANTVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Police are searching for at least one armed suspect in connection with the killing of the owner of a gun range in Georgia and his wife and grandson, authorities said Saturday. The Grantville Police Department said via Facebook that the robbery occurred Friday evening. When officers arrived at the scene around 8 p.m., they discovered the bodies of the owner of Lock Stock & Barrel Shooting Range, along with his wife and grandson. According to WSB-TV, Grantville Police identified the victims as the gun range owner, Thomas Hawk, 75; his wife, Evelyn, 75; and their grandson, Luke, 17.

Officials have arrested a man connected to a triple homicide at a gun range in western Georgia one week ago.

Jacob Christian Muse, 21, of College Park, Ga., was taken into custody on Friday on three charges of malice murder, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations announced in a news release.

Muse has been booked into the Coweta County Jail, per the GBI, and is being held without bond, according to county inmate records.

On April 8, three people were killed at the Lock Stock & Barrel Shooting Range in Grantville during an alleged robbery, the Grantville Police Department reported. Police believe about 40 guns were taken from the premises.

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The victims — Thomas Hawk, Evelyn Hawk, both 75, and their grandson Alexander Luke Hawk, 17 — were found dead by the Hawks' son and Coweta County coroner Richard Hawk a few hours after the shooting occurred, the GBI said Thursday.

The Hawk family said they "are encouraged and honored by the incredible efforts of our local law enforcement" in a statement shared with PEOPLE on Saturday addressing Muse's arrest.

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"We understand from [Grantsville police] Chief Steve Whitlock that the current development with the murder suspect in custody, was certainly a team effort," the family shared. "We are continuing to pray for their teams during this stressful time, and we will continue to pray for the redemption of the perpetrator."

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Thomas Hawk was the owner of Lock Stock & Barrel Shooting Range, according to police. His grandson was reportedly assisting at the gun range while on spring break from high school.

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A reward of up to $15,000 was initially offered by the investigating agencies and later upped to $25,000.

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"Thank you again, to the City of Grantville and the community at large for such an outpouring of love and support," the Hawk family said in their statement. "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 family also confirmed in the statement that "Tommy, Evelyn, and Luke Hawk have been laid to rest," but noted, "we will certainly see them again."

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The gun range shooting has left a mark on both family and friends of the business owner and his kin. Last Saturday, Grantville Police Chief Steve Whitlock, who said he was friends with the Hawks, told WSB-TV that the crime left him "speechless."

"I've been here eight years and we've never had anything like this," said Whitlock, noting that the Hawks were friends of many law enforcement officials in the area. "I've known them for a long time," he added.

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Whitlock told reporters that he was last at the facility the Tuesday before the Friday shooting, and that officers visited the facility "at least once or twice a week," per WCJL News.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says the joint investigation "remains active and ongoing."

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The Coweta County Sheriff's Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms' Atlanta Division have also been assisting in the investigation.

Anyone who visited the Lock Stock and Barrel Shooting Range or saw anything along Bohannon Road on April 8 is asked to contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Tip Line at 1 800-597 TIPS (8477), Region 2 (Columbus) Office at (706) 565-7888, or the ATF Tip Line at 1 800-ATF-TIPS (283-8477) to assist law enforcement.

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