Brittney Lofthouse – Contributing Writer
Investigators with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) responded to two separate calls Sunday morning involving gunshot wounds.
Both incidents had victims reported as deceased from apparent gunshot wounds. Deputies responded immediately and after securing each of the scenes they requested the assistance of detectives. The MCSO Criminal Investigations Unit responded to both areas. During the course of their investigations, many interviews were conducted. Many of those interviewed included family members of those found deceased. Following those interviews and based on evidence found at each scene, the sheriff’s office was able to confirm that the two incidents are in no way connected.
According to Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland, during the course of the investigation, MCSO was able to determine that the deceased male at the 64 West overlook was seen by a passing motorist sitting inside his vehicle around 8 a.m. stationary at the overlook area. At 10:11, that same motorist driving towards Clay County saw the vehicle still in the same area at the overlook. The motorist stopped to check on the occupants of the vehicle and then called 911 to report what he saw when he approached the vehicle. Detectives believe that the 24-year-old male found in the parked vehicle died from a self-inflicted gunshot earlier that morning. One firearm was collected by detectives was found inside the vehicle and in possession of the deceased.
The second incident was reported to have occurred at a Broadleaf Lane residence. That investigation remains active and because of that information that can be released is limited, according to Sheriff Holland.
“We have become aware there is a concern in our community that there may be a connection between the two incidents but more importantly a concern that there may be a threat to public safety following three deaths of members of our community,” said Sheriff Holland. “In an effort to ease concerns, we believe there is no need to be concerned about the safety of the community. As part of the investigation, we were able to verify that the male living at the Broadleaf home had communicated with family members and a family friend around 10 a.m. just prior to his death.”
“Both of these investigations are ongoing but our preliminary findings are that one is a murder/suicide and the other is a suicide,” said Sheriff Robert Holland. “There is nothing that leads us to believe the two cases are connected to one another but both remain very active investigations.”
“Both of these incidents ended with men who for unknown reasons committed suicide,” said Sheriff Holland. “One included a man shooting his wife and two dogs prior to taking his own life. Two firearms were seized and one was still in possession of the deceased male. We may never know exactly why this occurred but I can find no reason to release additional information that only adds more heartache to the families and friends. While we are trying to be as transparent as possible, I feel there is no benefit to publicly sharing additional details into these incidents moving forward. We will instead only share information with representatives of the immediate family or when we deem it necessary. There is no reason for anyone to feel there is any threat to the community related to either of these cases. Due to the thorough investigation conducted by our CID Unit, many unanswered questions have been answered but also recognize that there may be questions that will never be answered.”
This investigation will remain active until the CID Unit concludes their investigation. Autopsies are scheduled to be performed this week.
“We extend our condolences to the family and friends for their losses and all will remain in our thoughts and prayers,” said Holland.