Family thankful for ‘outpouring of love’ after arrest in Ga. triple homicide

Family members of the three people shot and killed inside a Grantville shooting range and gun shop last weekend began to get answers Friday but questions persist in the horrific crime.

On Saturday, a day after authorities made an arrest in the triple homicide, a spokesperson for the victims’ family released a statement expressing gratitude to the investigating agencies.

“We understand from (Grantville police) Chief Steve Whitlock that the current development with the murder suspect in custody, was certainly a team effort,” the statement read. “We are continuing to pray for their teams during this stressful time, and we will continue to pray for the redemption of the perpetrator.”

ExploreFaith guided slain Coweta family members

The slayings happened at the Lock Stock and Barrel shooting range in Grantville, a small Coweta County town about 50 miles southwest of downtown Atlanta. Three family members were killed and about 40 weapons were stolen from the gun shop during an apparent robbery.

The victims were Tommy Richard Hawk Sr., the 75-year-old owner, wife Evelyn Hawk, also 75, and their 18-year-old grandson Alexander “Luke” Hawk, a senior at East Coweta High School.

Coweta County Coroner Richard Hawk discovered the bodies of his parents and his son after they’d been shot to death inside the gun range shop.

Investigators charged 21-year-old Jacob Christian Muse with three counts of malice murder in connection with the April 8 shooting, the GBI announced late Friday. The College Park man remained in custody at the Coweta County jail Saturday.

Credit: Coweta County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Coweta County Sheriff's Office

Authorities would not say Saturday whether Muse had a prior relationship with anyone in the Hawk family or if he is the lone suspect they’re investigating for the deadly armed robbery.

Investigators from the GBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have worked with the Grantville Police Department and the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office to search for clues in the triple homicide.

“Even though he’s in jail and with warrants signed for murder, there’s a lot more to work,” Whitlock told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday night.

As they have throughout the week, the grieving family members asked for the public’s continued prayers as they remain mournful for their loved ones.

“Thank you again to the city of Grantville and the community at large for such an outpouring of love and support,” the family said in Saturday’s 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.”

Credit: Branden Camp

Credit: Branden Camp

Explore‘Pray for us.’ Coroner who discovered his slain son, parents speaks at their funeral

Loved ones memorialized the victims during a funeral service Thursday at Unity Baptist Church in Newnan.

“Tommy, Evelyn and Luke Hawk have been laid to rest but, we will certainly see them again,” the family’s statement ended.

_________________________________________________________________________________

TO HONOR THE FAMILY

GoFundMe: An online fundraising page has been created by a family member.

The Coweta Community Foundation, Hawk Memorial: Donors can go directly to the Coweta community Foundation website and click “donate.” Click the “donation in Memory or Honor” so the Foundation can track who made a donation and provide details for the family.

The Alexander “Luke” Hawk Memorial Scholarship at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC): Luke was supposed to start school at ABAC in the fall. Memorial contributions can be made at www.abac.edu/lukehawkmemorial or by check made payable to the ABAC Foundation and mailed to: ABAC Foundation (13), 2802 Moore Highway, Tifton, GA 31793.