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Here's what we know about the Grantville gun store triple homicide

Jacob Muse, 21, is charged with shooting and killing the owners of a Coweta County gun range and their grandson.

COWETA COUNTY, Ga. — The owners of a Coweta County mom-and-pop gun range and their grandson were shot dead the night of Friday, April 8.

Days after the triple homicide, Gov. Brian Kemp announced the State of Georgia added $10,000 to an existing $15,000 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the Hawk family killer.

Authorities have now arrested 21-year-old Jacob Christian Muse in the case. He's facing charges with three counts of malice murder and is the only person considered to be a suspect as of the latest update from police.

Here’s what we know about the deadly incident so far.

Where did it happen

The fatal shooting happened at the Lock Stock and Barrel Shooting Range in Coweta County on Friday.

It's a gun range located at 514 Bohannon Road, a quiet roadway in Grantville, Georgia, just south of Newnan. The business stocks inventories of guns and ammunition for sale, according to its website.

What we know about the shooting

Just before 11 p.m. on April 8, Coweta County Fire Rescue said a shooting at the Lock Stock and Barrel Shooting Range in the area had sparked an investigation. At the time, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation confirmed they were on the scene, but did not provide any additional details. 

The morning of Saturday, April 9, the Grantville Police Department said officers responded to the gun range Friday evening after the owners' son, Richard Hawk, found the bodies of three of his relatives and called 911. Richard is also the Coweta County coroner.

Grantville Police Chief Steve Whitlock said Tommy and Evelyn Hawk, who own the range, usually close up shop by about 5:30 p.m. and come home by 6 p.m. every day. When they did not get home Friday evening, Richard drove to the shooting range. According to Whitlock, Richard discovered their bodies inside the business, along with his son's, shot dead — each one on the floor a few steps away from each other.

Whitlock described it as a robbery, saying someone shot the owners and their grandson and stole approximately 40 weapons plus the security camera DVR. He said investigators obtained search warrants around midnight and began to process the crime scene indoors. 

Whitlock said the triple homicide floored him.

"The assistant chief, he called me and said that we had -- his exact words -- we've had a tragedy in Grantville," Whitlock said.

Throughout Saturday, April 11, hours after the deadly shooting, law enforcement vehicles were still blocking the roadway leading to the business as an investigator collected evidence.

The Grantville Police chief said the evening of Sunday, April 10, detectives were still trying to figure out who shot and killed the three family members.

Although investigators have not indicated whether or not they know what time of day the three were killed, the GBI was asking anyone who drove by the range between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. and noticed any car — other than a white Ford truck and black Ford Expedition — to contact investigators.

Who are the victims

Three victims were killed — the owners, Tommy Hawk, his wife, Evelyn Hawk, and their teenage grandson, Luke Hawk.

Whitlock said Luke was helping his grandparents with their business. Luke's father Richard Hawk, who also works as the Coweta County coroner, is the one who found their bodies, the chief said.

Credit: Provided
The Hawk family

Whitlock said he considers the Hawks dear friends, calling their deaths a tragedy for the whole town.

"It's really hard," he said. "The store's been here for a long time. The range (has) been here for a long time and there's people from all around (that) come shoot here."

Mike Menese, who knew one of the victims, said several of his family members had been to the range before to learn how to shoot. Menese called Tommy a "kind, gentle guy" who was "always willing to help."

"When I think of him, I think of a grandparent, a granddad. He was just an all-around great guy," Menese said. 

Credit: As Posted on his Lock Stock and Barrel Website
Tommy Hawk

According to Whitlock, Tommy and Evelyn had no employees and usually worked by themselves. He said Tommy previously had a stroke and, as part of his recovery, he was returning gradually to a full-time work schedule.

The Hawk family issued a statement on Tuesday, April 12, saying the loss feels "insurmountable":

"Three beloved members of the Hawk family were taken too soon. We are heartbroken and our loss seems insurmountable. Please respect our family’s privacy during this time. With God, we must grieve and heal as a family. 

We thank the City of Grantville and Coweta County for such an outpouring of love and support. It is so meaningful that so many in our community cherished them as we did and want to help shine a light in the darkness. 

Tommy, Evelyn and Luke will forever be in our hearts."

Their funeral will take place Thursday at 2 p.m. at Unity Baptist Church on Smokey Road. The funeral was moved to another church in Newnan to accommodate as many people as possible.

What we know about the suspect

Days after the shooting, the GBI announced on Friday, April 15, that Jacob Christian Muse, 21, has been arrested for the murder of Luke, Evelyn and Tommy Hawk. 

The College Park man is facing multiple charges.

Credit: Coweta County Sheriff's Office

"They knew each other," Chief Whitlock said of the suspect and victims. "He frequented the store a good bit. He used the range a good bit. My understanding is he lived in Grantville at one time."

The police department also confirmed Muse previously bought at least one gun from the business.

According to Grantville Police, a search warrant was carried out at Muse's home in College Park and investigators found both handguns and long guns that had been stolen from the Hawk's business.

"There were guns recovered at his residence," Whitlock said during an interview. "The ATF is going through those records right now, checking the guns with the serial numbers."

The recovery of the guns along with investigators interviewing Muse ultimately led to his arrest, according to the chief. Muse is the only person considered to be a suspect in this case. He is facing three counts of malice murder at this time. 

Whitlock said the motive remains unknown.

What we don't know

Potentially slowing the investigation early on was the fact that along with guns, the facility's security camera recording device had also been stolen, according to police. 

While it could hold valuable information, its location remains unknown to investigators. Police said the theft of dozens of guns and the recording device is likely to lead to additional charges.

"They're still looking for everything they can," Whitlock said. 

Rewards 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) previously said a $15,000 reward for information leading to an identification, arrest, and conviction is being offered from that agency, the city of Grantville and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

"ATF and our law enforcement partners will work tirelessly to bring the killer(s) to justice," ATF Atlanta Field Division Special Agent in Charge Benjamin P. Gibbons said. "The brutality of these senseless murders along with the fact that these killer(s) have acquired additional firearms makes solving this case our top priority."

On Monday, April, 11, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced the Peach State added $10,000 to that reward by executive order. 

How to help

The family is asking, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The Coweta Community Foundation, Hawk Memorial. You can make a donation here on the foundation website. The Hawk family said donors are advised to check the box titled "donation in memory or honor," so the foundation can track who made a contribution.

In a statement, the Hawk family said other charitable donations can also be sent directly to two organizations:

  1. The Alexander "Luke" Hawk Memorial Scholarship at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) — Memorial contributions can be made online or by check payable to the ABAC Foundation. Contributors can mail it to: ABAC Foundation (13), 2802 Moore Highway, Tifton, GA 31793. 
  2. Ronald McDonald House — Contributions can be made online, or by check payable to the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities at 795 Gatewood Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30329. People can also call 678-704-8082.

"Any gift made in honor of the Hawk family will be acknowledged," the family said in a statement. 

People who wanted to help add to the reward offer were told to donate to the Coweta County Sheriff's Reward Fund by mailing a check sheriff’s office at 560 Greison Trail, Newnan, GA 30263, according to a statement from the family. Donors should note the check with "Hawk Family Reward."

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