Wayne Anthony Hawes lost control when he learned his wife wanted a divorce. On Friday evening, April 22, 2016, a BOLO alert was put out for Hawes, who is 5-foot-9 and 230 pounds. Columbia County (Appling, Georgia) sheriff’s deputies said Hawes was the suspect in a shooting.
Deputies believe he was involved in shootings that claimed the lives of two men and three women in homes less than a mile from each other. The shootings are believed to be linked to a domestic dispute.
At one home on Johnson Drive at about 7:54 p.m., authorities found three victims, Roosevelt Burns, 75, Rheva Mae Dent, 85, and Kelia Clark, 31. At 8:32 p.m., authorities responded to a second crime scene on Washington Road where two other victims found at the scene were identified as Lizzy Williams, 59, and Shelly Williams, 62.
Columbia County Sheriff’s Office captain Andy Shedd announced Hawes, 50, was recovered by authorities after midnight Saturday. Lifeless when found in his northeastern Georgia home, he allegedly died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. None of the victims are his wife. Relatives told FOX news that Dent, Burns and Clark were part of his wife’s family.
Columbia Country lies along the Savannah River and is named after Christopher Columbus. It’s 20 miles northwest of Augusta, Georgia.
Here are domestic violence related murder/suicide facts according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
- 72 percent of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner
- 94 percent of the victims of these crimes are female.
- In Georgia in 2014, firearms were involved in 66 percent of all domestic violence fatalities.
- The presence of a gun in the home during a domestic violence incident increases the risk of homicide by at least 500 percent.
- 27 counties in Georgia have no access to domestic violence services. Another 26 counties have very limited access.
- Georgia ranks 9th in the nation for the rate at which women are killed by men
An investigation is ongoing. We will be updating this story.