Authorities say the man who shot and killed his boss at a fast food business in rural south Georgia on Thursday was also likely to have killed his mother and grandmother at their nearby homes before killing himself.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said that security footage from a Moultrie McDonald’s showed that on Thursday morning, 26-year-old Kentavious White shot the store manager after getting her to come to the door. The video then showed White walking into the restaurant and shooting himself.
The boss, Amia Smith, was found dead along with White, the GBI said in a news release Thursday evening. Smith was 41 years old. They also found that two women who were connected to White had been shot at nearby homes less than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) away. The GBI said that both women died, and one of them died after being taken to the hospital.
The Colquitt County coroner, C. Verlyn, told The Associated Press that it looked like all three women had been shot more than once.
Brock said over the phone, “I can’t for the life of me figure out what made him act that way.”
Brock said that the two people killed were the gunman’s mother, who was 50, and his grandma, who was 74. Both of them lived next door to each other. Their names were not given out right away. Brock said that his office was trying to get in touch with family members.
Moultrie police asked the GBI to lead the investigation, which is common in Georgia when a big crime has happened. The state body in charge of law enforcement said the probe is still going on.
The shooter and his mother lived next door to Jerry Goodwin, and the gunman’s grandma lived two doors down. He told The Associated Press on Thursday that his wife heard gunshots before 1 a.m. Thursday, while he was sleeping. Goodwin said that the young man who lives next door had come outside earlier in the week, fired a gun while yelling and that Moultrie cops had come to the scene.
But it looks like the cops didn’t come right away on Thursday. Goodwin said that cops and an ambulance showed up just before 6 a.m., and the ambulance took one person away right away. He said that the examiner found two more bodies later.
Goodwin said he didn’t know his neighbors very well, but one of them had come to his house a few years after he moved in to ask for help putting up a gate.
Goodwin said, “I had never seen him hurt or try to hurt anyone before this.”
Moultrie Police Chief Sean Ladson did not respond right away to emails asking for his thoughts. When someone at police officers answered the phone, they said that Ladson was sending all calls to the GBI.
Tanner Strickland, who lives in Moultrie, said he knew two of the women who were killed.
Strickland told WALB-TV, “Both of them were two of the most amazing people I’ve ever met.” “When they walk into a room, they both make it brighter. Both of them have really good hearts.”
Sabrina Holweger, who works at an optometrist’s office next to the McDonald’s, told the AP that she and a friend arrived at work before 8 a.m. to find a woman’s dead body lying in the doorway of the restaurant with cops all around.
Holweger said, “It was really scary not to know if they had shot themselves.”
She said that cops closed off an important street in the city of 15,000 that runs in front of the McDonald’s.
Holweger said that the woman who died at the restaurant was the boss in charge of the early morning shift and that the shooter had worked there. Holweger said that it looked like the man killed the woman when she opened the door for him so he could go to work early in the morning.
The owner and manager of the Moultrie McDonald’s, George Suarez, said that the store will be closed until further notice.
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved restaurant manager, and our hearts go out to all the victims of this senseless act of violence,” Suarez said in a statement released by McDonald’s corporate office in Chicago.
The killings in Moultrie, which is in rural Colquitt County about 60 miles (95 kilometers) northeast of Tallahassee, Florida, happened a day after a gunman killed one person and hurt four others at a medical office in Atlanta.
Colquitt County’s government supervisor, Chas Cannon, said that he was driving his daughter to school on Thursday morning when he saw police tape and patrol cars blocking off the McDonald’s.
“Killings don’t happen very often around here,” Cannon said. “That’s strange. But in this day and age, our jail is full, and so is our county prison. There are a lot of people who break the rules, which is sad.”