Speaking to the media for the first time since his parents and son were murdered at their family shooting range, Coweta County Coroner Richard Hawk thanked the community of Coweta for their support.
Hawk spoke at a press conference Monday morning alongside Grantville Police Chief Steve Whitlock, Coweta County Sheriff Lenn Wood and Deputy Coroner Gary Stallings.
“Thank you again to the town of Grantville, to the community here in Coweta as a whole for such an outpouring of love and support,” Hawk said. “I cannot thank each of you enough. We appreciate the prayer vigil in honor of our family, as it was well attended. We are also honored that you have taken the time out of your day to come here.
During the press conference, Hawk also said his family is grateful for the efforts of local law enforcement, including the Grantville Police Department, the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
While there, Hawk provided the assembled media with a scripture verse, John 3:16, which reads, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish , but have eternal life. .”
“That’s what we’re looking for, for everyone to have eternal life,” Hawk said. “That’s all I have for now.”
“Mom, Dad, and ‘hey buddy, come here'”
During the press conference, Hawk spoke about his parents, Tommy and Ellen, and his son Luke, who Hawk said “represented the Lord.”
“He loved spending time with our pastor,” Hawk said. “The Sunday before this happened, the pastor called him to pray at Disciple Fellowship, and he had never prayed out loud in front of a group of people, just around the pastor and myself. He prayed, he came home and said ‘I was nervous, dad, nervous like I don’t know what’ and I was like, ‘Well, how are you?’ He said ‘I just talked to God and it was easy. I would have liked to do more.
“My mom and dad were Christians and raised me in a Christian home,” Hawk said. “They spent 75 years together. They died together. They were both afraid of how they were going to get out of here, but God took care of them. They both looked peaceful. They were happy.”
Hawk said Luke was very close to his grandparents, being the only boy in seven grandchildren. He said Luke loved working with his grandparents at the range.
“Luke loved being there,” Hawk said. “We used to live right next door, and even as a little kid he used to drive his little battery-powered car there, grandpa would call and say ‘hey, you know your boy’s here’ and I’m like ‘no, I didn’t know that, he was out a while ago’ and we had to go get him.
Hawk said his son enjoys shooting, hunting, fishing, being on the tractor and anything outdoors.
Hawk said the time he was proudest for his son was when he was five or six years old.
“He accepted the Lord as his personal saviour,” Hawk said. “It’s the moment I’m most proud of. It was definitely decided that day where he would be, and now I know where he is.
Support for talks with law enforcement
While Whitlock said there would be no response from law enforcement regarding the case, he thanked the Hawk family for letting him be there with them.
“They’re a big family, they’ve been through a lot,” Whitlock said. “I appreciate them working with us.”
He also thanked the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office, ATF, GBI and District Attorney’s Office for their support, as well as the community.
“They supported this family here, and it meant a lot to us, and I want to thank everything you’ve done.”
Wood said he lived a few miles from the shooting range, so when the call came about the shooting, he went through.
“I didn’t do anything,” Wood said. “The sheriff’s office was there in a support role. We were there to help in any way we could. It was Grantville jurisdiction, so we offered all the help we could do, but we were also there for the chief and his department, whatever they needed, physically and mentally. We were there for Richard and his family, everything they needed, physically and mentally.
Wood also cited the strength of the Coweta County community, saying he “couldn’t live in a better place.”
“It’s evident in everything we’ve done over the last few years,” Wood said. “This support that not only the Hawk family has received, but that we as law enforcement have received has been outstanding.”
The suspect remains behind bars
On April 15, police arrested Jacob Christian Muse, 21, of College Park. Muse has been charged with three counts of malicious murder in connection with the triple homicide at the Lock, Stock and Barrel shooting range in Grantville.
During a search warrant conducted at Muse’s College Park residence on April 15, investigators located a number of handguns and long guns that had been stolen from the range, according to Whitlock. .
During the investigation, officers learned that Muse was a former resident of Grantville, and also a customer of the range, having purchased at least one gun from the store and spent time using the range.
On Monday, Hawk said he didn’t know Muse personally. When asked what he would like to tell her, Hawk said he wanted to tell her about the Lord.
“I want to tell him who Jesus Christ is and what he can do for him, because that’s what he needs,” Hawk said.