Cherokee firefighter, wife killed hours before bodies found in Acworth home

Amber Hicks (left) and Justin Hicks were found dead from gunshot wounds inside their home Thursday.
Caption
Amber Hicks (left) and Justin Hicks were found dead from gunshot wounds inside their home Thursday.

Credit: Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services

2-year-old also found in home unharmed

A Cobb County couple were shot and killed inside their home by an unknown assailant hours before their bodies were discovered Thursday morning, police said.

Amber and Justin Hicks, both 31, were found dead from gunshot wounds inside their Acworth home around 9:30 a.m., Cobb police spokesman Sgt. Wayne Delk said in a news release. A 2-year-old was found unharmed in the home and is now safe with family members.

Justin Hicks was a firefighter who worked with Cherokee Fire and Emergency Services for more than six years, Chief Tim Prather said Friday in a news release. Prather described Hicks as a highly motivated, energetic individual who had recently completed his paramedic training.

“Justin has touched and impacted many lives, and he will be dearly missed,” Prather said. “Our hearts are broken as we mourn the loss of a member of our family and his lovely wife.”

Caption
Justin Hicks had worked for Cherokee Fire and Emergency Services for more than six years.

Credit: Cobb County Fire & Emergency Services

Justin Hicks had worked for Cherokee Fire and Emergency Services for more than six years.
Caption
Justin Hicks had worked for Cherokee Fire and Emergency Services for more than six years.

Credit: Cobb County Fire & Emergency Services

Credit: Cobb County Fire & Emergency Services

Neighbors told Channel 2 Action News the couple had recently moved into the Chestnut Hill neighborhood off Bells Ferry Road. Hannah Mabrey said she watched in shock as an officer rushed the couple’s toddler out of the house on Verbena Drive and into the arms of his waiting grandparents.

“Police brings the child out holding him by his torso, runs him out, and the grandmother grabbed him, and the grandfather grabbed him, and they’re crying and freaking out saying, ‘Where’s my baby?’” she told Channel 2.

A family friend created a GoFundMe campaign to help with the costs of raising and caring for the child and for funeral expenses. Grappling with the loss, those who knew the couple “can’t understand it, and we are still as a family, and as a community processing it,” the page states.

According to Delk, the shootings took place sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning and were committed by one or more “unknown assailants.” There is no indication the suspected shooter stayed in the area.

“This is being investigated as a double homicide,” Delk told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday, confirming police have no evidence to suggest murder-suicide.

Police continued their investigation Friday. Anyone with information about the killings is asked to call Cobb police at 770-499-3945 or email cobbpolicecrimetips@cobbcounty.org.

— Please return to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for updates.

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