A Georgia gunman on a shooting rampage killed five people Friday night in two separate locations before taking his own life, with some of the victims believed to be members of his wife’s family.
Wayne Anthony Hawes, 50, was found dead in the garage of his home hours after the shootings took place in the town of Appling, about 20 miles outside of Augusta near the South Carolina border.
Police were called to the scene of one home just before 8 p.m. on Friday. Hawes was found around midnight with a fatal, self-inflicted wound to the head, according to a statement released by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.
Among the victims at one location were an 87-year-old woman and a 75-year-old man, who were believed to be Hawes’ father- and mother-in-law. Another 31-year-old woman was found alive but later died at a nearby hospital. Police also reported that Hawes attempted to set the home on fire.
In another home less than a mile away a 59-year-old woman and 62-year-0ld man were also shot dead, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department’s Capt. Andy Shedd.
“We believe the two shootings were related based on witness accounts,” he said.
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One woman interviewed near the scene told the New York Times all of the victims were members of her extended family, though police said none of the victims were believed to be Hawes’ wife.
Police did not immediately release a motive in the killings, but Hawes’ daughter told the Associated Press on Saturday her father was a “ticking time bomb” after her mother ended their relationship.
The incident in Georgia was the second mass shooting to take place in the United States on Friday. At least eight people who were members of the same family were believed to executed by one or more gunman in Ohio’s Pike County.
One or more suspects in the Pike County assault are still at large.