HINESVILLE, Ga. (WTOC) – Two are dead after an apparent murder-suicide at a shopping center in Hinesville on Friday afternoon.
According to the Hinesville Police Department chief, it appears a man shot his wife and then shot himself. Both have died.
A witness at the scene said a woman in a vehicle was being chased by a man in a pickup. The woman parked at the Liberty Square Shopping Center and ran into a business with the man chasing her and firing shots.
The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Special Reaction Team went into the business and found the couple’s bodies in the back of the business.
One of those that died was a 3rd ID soldier. Below is a statement from Fort Stewart:
“We are aware that two people died in a shooting in Hinesville. We are terribly saddened by this tragic incident and can confirm that one of those who died was a 3rd Infantry Division Soldier. The Soldier’s name will not be released or confirmed until next of kin notification is complete.”
At one point, the entire Liberty Square shopping plaza was blocked off, shoppers moved to the edges of the parking lot away from the scene. Neighboring businesses closing and locking their doors until a breach team of police officers could get inside the business in question to make sure there wasn’t a further threat.
“We moved them back as far as we felt that we could safely provide cover for them and directed them behind cover, and then began the evacuation of all the other businesses. All happened simultaneously and that was largely to this large, great effort of local law enforcement,” Hinesville Assistant Chief Tracey Howard said.
Workers also described people running to safety and fearing for their lives.
“My first reaction was to pray,” said Rick Faircloth, owner of Pro Feet.
The owner of Pro Feet is just a few doors down from where an apparent murder-suicide happened in broad daylight.
“They began instantly going up and down the sidewalk commanding everybody get back into the store and lock the door.”
Some people driving by had no idea what happened until their loved ones called.
“I was leaving Captain D’s right on that street and I got a call from my husband asking me where I was. I told him where I was and he said you need to get somewhere safe because there’s an active shooter,” said Hermina Glass-Hill, a curator at Susie King Taylor Exhibit.
People who seemed to be employees at Lendmark, declined to comment, hugging and crying on the scene.
People say this is not a situation you expect, not here.
“For that to happen, it was a shock.”
But Glass-Hill says, this has been happening too much.
“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen domestic violence increase in our country…right here in the Lowcountry.”
Rep. Al Williams agreed, alluding to instances of active shootings and mass shootings occurring everywhere.
“It’s a sad situation at a time in this country when far too often this is happening.”
Most people applauded the swift efforts of law enforcement, but they emphasize the importance of mental health.
“One of the things we have to keep in mind is sometimes tempers overrule common sense,” said Rep Williams.
And seeking help..
“And I mean a therapist beyond your preacher, someone who’s trained.”
Before it’s too late..
“I rather talk to them then than to talk to their mothers who want to get them to another spot in the prison system. It’s just tough it’s difficult. I’ve seen it all before but you never get used to it.”
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