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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Mass Murder-Suicide in Columbia County

Wayne Anthony Hawes killed  himself after a shooting rampage that killed 5 persons
COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Five victims and three active scenes, all within a mile in Columbia County.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office quickly found out it was all connected. Captain Andy Shedd says, "At 7:54 we were called to Johnson Drive in reference to shots fired and people who were struck by gunshots." Then, things got worse. "Roughly 30 minutes later, we were called to a second location just down the road on Washington Road to more shots fired and people injured by gunfire," Shedd says.
Even though the call on Johnson Drive came in 30 minutes earlier, Shedd says the sheriff's office is not 100% sure which shooting happened first.
While deputies investigated those shootings, they set up a perimeter around a third house on Rosemont Road. Shedd says, "We were able to bring in a tactical team from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office and the decision was made to go ahead and make entry into the house."
In the garage of that house deputies found Wayne Anthony Hawes shot in the head, an apparent suicide. In the living room a fire was smoldering.
The Columbia County Sheriff's Office believes Hawes killed himself after a shooting rampage that killed Rheba Mae Dent (his wife's mother), Roosevelt Burns (his wife's uncle), Keila Clark (his wife's niece) and Lizzy and Shelly Williams (family friends of Hawes).
Shedd says the sheriff's office is still figuring out the motive, but they have an idea. "We know there were some domestic issues between the suspect and his wife, and we're trying to figure out exactly how these individuals who are now deceased played a part in that," Shedd says.
Today, family and friends gathered around Johnson Drive to mourn their lost loved ones. Family members say many of the people who live in the small community off Washington Road were related to the victims.
Saturday, April 23, 2016

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The man deputies say shot and killed five people before killing himself had multiple run ins with law enforcement.
Wayne Anthony Hawes was arrested six times in Columbia County starting in 1989. He faced charges for simple battery, speeding, driving without a license, shoplifting, selling cocaine, driving under the influence, obstruction of officers, and fleeing from police.

April 23, 2016
UPDATE: 1:52 AM 
Coroner Vernon Collins confirms suspect Wayne Hawes was found dead in his home on Rosemont Road that was set on fire. He died from a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Captain Andy Shedd with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office says surveillance started on Hawes' home after he was identified as a suspect shortly after the shootings.
The victims of the shooting have been identified as the following:
Victims from the Johnson Drive area: 
Roosevelt Burns - 75
Rheba Mae Dent - 85
Kelia Clark - 31

Washington Road victims: 
Lizzy Williams - 59
Shelly Williams - 62

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Deputies say they suspect Hawes started the fire. Hawes' body was discovered inside his garage.

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