Georgia coroner makes gruesome discovery: His slain parents and son

The victims of a triple homicide in Georgia were the parents and son of the local coroner who made the gruesome discovery at a gun range his family owned, the official said Monday.

Coweta County Coroner Richard Hawk couldn't reach his parents and son on Friday when he went looking for them at their Lock Stock & Barrel Shooting Range in Grantville, about 50 miles south of downtown Atlanta.

That's where the coroner stumbled into an unimaginable crime scene and the bodies of his parents, Tommy and Evelyn Hawk, and his son, Luke Hawk.

"I didn't get the call in an official capacity, I'm the one who actually found them," Hawk told NBC News on Monday. "They were not home the way they were supposed to be and I went to check on them (at the gun range) and that's when (the discovery was made)."

The older victims were each 75 and the coroner's son was 18, according to funeral home announcements. Luke Hawk was on spring break from East Coweta High School when the deadly robbery unfolded, according to his father.

Hawk declined to discuss the crime, fearing he could jeopardize the investigation: "We don't have enough leads right now."

The coroner said he's relying heavily on his faith to guide him through this troubling time.

"By God's grace and mercy," he added.

About 40 weapons and a video camera were taken during the robbery which unfolded between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Friday, police said.

Investigators are asking local residents if they saw any vehicles — other than a white Ford truck or black Ford SUV — near the shooting range late Friday afternoon.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Grantville Police Department are all investigating. A $15,000 reward is being offered for any information leading to an arrest or conviction of those responsible.

"The brutality of these senseless murders along with the fact that these killer(s) have acquired additional firearms make solving this case our top priority," according to a statement by Benjamin Gibbons, special agent in charge of the ATF in Atlanta.

Coweta County Sheriff Lenn Wood called the deaths "senseless and tragic," saying Friday's slayings have left the community "with hurt, pain, and very little answers."

"I am a life-long member of Coweta and every family, especially the Hawk family, are a valuable and precious part of my life," Wood said in a statement. "I am also fervently praying that God will use our law enforcement community and the Coweta Community to bring justice swiftly. Richard has served faithfully for decades in our law enforcement community. He’s a committed public servant and moreover a personal friend of mine."

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