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

Less than a week after discovering the bodies of his slain son and parents, Coweta County Coroner Richard Hawk spoke at their funeral and prayed for their killer.

“Pray for us,” said Hawk, who spoke briefly at the end of the Thursday service, before leading the final worship song. “At the same time, pray for whoever did this, that law enforcement, when they find them, if they’re not in a firefight and they don’t kill them, that God will give me and my pastor an opportunity to go and preach to them and tell them who God is. They obviously don’t know.”

He responded to a call on April 8 and found the remains of his 75-year-old parents, Tommy Richard Hawk Sr. and Evelyn Gail Hawk, and his teenaged son, Luke, in the family’s Lock Stock and Barrel gun range and shop. The tiny town of Grantville hadn’t had a homicide in at least 20 years, investigators believe.

Grantville police Chief Steve Whitlock quickly called in the GBI to assist and neighboring agencies offered their support. When officers determined about 40 weapons had been stolen from the gun shop, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was also called in. So far, no arrests have been made.

During Thursday’s somber service, family members and a pastor shared stories to honor the three. Through their sadness, there is peace knowing all three members of the Hawk family are in God’s hands, a granddaughter said.

As a newborn, Alexander “Luke” Hawk arrived a month early, his mother said Thursday.

“I think that was God’s way of giving us another month to love him and hug him and hold him,” said Donna Hawk, sharing her son’s love of corny jokes and the outdoors, and his tender heart.

“Hearing his laugh was just gold,” Hawk said. “He loved with all his heart. We love him and we miss him, but I look so forward to seeing him again.”

Credit: Family photos

Credit: Family photos

There was little discussion of the horrific shooting during Thursday’s funeral service at Unity Baptist Church in Newnan. Rather, mourners shared memories to honor the departed.

Tommy Hawk worked for 30 years at Ford Motor Company before retiring to open his gun business, according to his online obituary. His wife, Evelyn, played piano at the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Newnan and sang with the choir when she wasn’t working alongside her

Credit: Branden Camp

Credit: Branden Camp


The family’s pastor, Ben Sprenger, spoke during the service after singing the spiritual song “Leave With Nothing Left” and playing guitar.

“The world just needs a lot more of them,” Sprenger said of the Hawks. “We loved these people and they loved us.”

An East Coweta High School senior, Luke was in a work-study program that allowed him time to help his grandparents at the gun range. That’s where he was late last Friday as spring break was winding down for Coweta students.

Luke had planned to attend Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in the fall, and a scholarship fund has been created at the Tifton college to honor him.

ExploreGrantville homicides the first in 20+ years for small Coweta town

The Hawk family has expressed gratitude in recent days and again Thursday for all those in the community and beyond who have offered prayers and support. It is their faith, the family says, that has helped guide them through the darkest days.

Interment followed at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Newnan.

Credit: Branden Camp

Credit: Branden Camp