U.S. News

Georgia man suspected of killing five before shooting himself: sheriff

(Reuters) - A Georgia man shot dead three people and is suspected of killing two others in a shooting spree involving his wife’s family before killing himself, officials said on Saturday.

Wayne Anthony Hawes, 50, was found dead shortly after midnight at his home in Appling, about 130 miles (210 km) east of Atlanta, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

He also tried unsuccessfully to set his home on fire, the statement said.

Sheriff’s deputies responding to a call found three dead people - a 75-year-old man, an 85-year-old woman and a 31-year- old woman - shortly before 8 p.m. (midnight GMT) on Friday.

Investigators were able to confirm the three had been shot by Hawes, Captain Andy Shedd said in the statement.

Shortly thereafter they were called to another home in Appling where they discovered the bodies of a 59-year-old woman and a 62-year-old man.

“We believe the two shootings were related based on witness accounts,” Shedd said.

Hawes’ wife was not among those killed.

Investigators quickly began surveillance on Hawes’ home and after midnight decided to enter, finding Hawes dead of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, the statement said.

The Georgia shootings marked the second set of U.S. mass killings on Friday of an apparently domestic nature.

At least eight people believed to be members of the same family were found shot to death execution-style in four homes in Pike County, Ohio, and a suspect or suspects may still be at large, officials said on Friday.

Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Clelia Oziel