Thursday, September 29, 2022

Families killed at Georgia gun range ‘rejoice in heaven’

Grantville, Ga. ( Associated Press) — A coroner searching for three members of his family killed in a Georgia gun range robbery says they are now “rejoicing in heaven.” The trio’s funeral is scheduled for Thursday, as family and friends mourn their deaths and the police search for the killer continues.

Local coroner Richard Hawke was also among those who discovered the bodies. He said his parents and teenage son were shot to death on Friday at their family business, the Locked Stock & Barrel shooting range in Grantville, a small town southwest of Atlanta.

A close friend Gary Stallings told a church congregation on Sunday how Hawke reacted after the body was found, Atlanta Journal-Constitution informed of.

“The three are rejoicing in heaven,” Hawke told Stallings.

Grantville police identified the victims as the gun range’s owner, Thomas Hawke, 75; his wife, Evelyn, 75; and his grandson, Luke, 17.

Investigators said 40 guns and a range surveillance camera were also stolen. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said the case posted a reward of $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer or murderers. No arrests have been announced.

Friends and relatives described the Hawks as a deeply religious family whose members were well-known and respected in the small community where they operated Lock Stock and Barrel for nearly 30 years. Luke was on spring break from school, helping his grandparents in business.

For decades, Hawkes had been a member of the Emmanuel Baptist Church in the Newnan area, where Evelyn Hawke played the piano and her husband was always praying for those who were sick or just needed to hear the Lord’s Word, the Atlanta newspaper reported.

“They were the only real people who loved God with all their hearts and they were courageous in their faith, sharing the gospel. They prayed often for the salvation of the people,” said Rev. Ben Sprenger of Emmanuel Baptist Church .

Luke Hawke picked up his high school graduation cap and gown the week before spring break. He did soundboard work at the church, and his favorite song was “Leave With Nothing Left,” Sprenger said.

He wanted to “give God everything he had,” Sprenger said, adding that he was “living what his parents had given him.”

McCoon Funeral Home announced a service is planned at Unity Baptist Church in Newnan at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Nation World News Desk
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