Lilburn father who killed special needs son ‘snapped,’ police said

A Lilburn father who killed his special needs son this week likely “snapped and got fed up,” said a police officer investigating the case.

Lilburn Police Lt. Chris Dusik said the case is still open, but that the killing appeared to be premeditated. About 90 minutes before he killed 12-year-old Hakan Erdem by cutting his throat, Fikri Erdem left a message for his wife and apologized for what he was going to do. He took a kitchen knife from the family’s house, Dusik said, and drove his son to a church nearby.

“This wasn’t on a whim,” Dusik said.

Hakan, a student at Sweetwater Middle School, wasn’t ambulatory, couldn’t communicate, had frequent outbursts and would scream, Dusik said. The family said it was “extremely difficult” to care for him.

Erdem stabbed himself in the stomach and cut his wrists in an attempt to kill himself before he called 911 on Monday night, Dusik said. Lilburn Police Captain Thomas Bardugon said if medical help hadn’t arrived, he would have died as well.

Erdem briefly regained consciousness Tuesday, and admitted to the killing, Bardugon said. Dusik said the interview was brief, and Erdem was groggy, but he planned to ask him more questions in the future. He has been charged with one count of malice murder and is hospitalized under police guard at Gwinnett Medical Center.

“This is completely a shock to the whole family,” Dusik said.

Bardugon said there is still a lot to learn about the incident.

“I have a lot of questions about motive and stuff,” he said. “I don’t have a lot of those answers.”

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