Shedd said the Friday night shootings stem from a domestic dispute that left three men and two females dead.
Lauren Hawes did not say which of the victims was her grandmother or her cousin. His house was also on fire when investigators discovered him.
Upon arrival to the scene, officers found three people had died of gunshot wounds: 75-year-old Roosevelt Burns, 85-year-old Rheba Mae Dent, and 31-year-old Kelie Clark. Many of them appear to be related to the former wife of Hawes.
Police did not immediately release a motive in the killings, but Hawes’ daughter told the Associated Press on Saturday her father was a “ticking time bomb” after her mother ended their relationship.
Investigators quickly began surveillance on Hawes’ home and after midnight made a decision to enter, finding Hawes dead of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, the statement said. All of the victims died at the scenes of the crime, except for one, who died at the hospital where they were being treated. The others were dead at the scene.
Lauren Hawes said her parents had known each since they were teenagers, and had a common law marriage. A day before the brutal slayings, Hawes threatened to kill his estranged spouse, Lauren Hawes said.
“Then, she said, another resident – a relative of the victims – who had gone to the house to investigate started screaming, ‘Call 911!”
The wife was not killed in the Friday night massacre in Appling, a small community about 20 miles west of Augusta. Murray said she thought Hawes was a nice guy, but he made a “stupid” decision.
“I always thought he was a nice guy”, Murray said. You know, the devil gets into you sometimes and you do stupid stuff. “You always have to put the Lord in front of you, let him lead you and you won’t go wrong”.