Police still trying to understand murder-suicide - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Police still trying to understand murder-suicide

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

December 8, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - 18-year old Scott Hutzell was in the checkout line Sunday when 27-year old Tommy Lee Lamar Jr., shot and killed him, then killed himself as horrified customers and employees looked on.

Albany Police say the two men arrived at the Piggly Wiggly before one Sunday in separate vehicles.

They tell us that the 18 year old Scott Hutzell was buying fishing bait and he and Tommy Lamar were standing near the cash register when Lamar pulled the gun and fired.

Police are talking with family and friends in hopes of finding out what lead to that horrific shooting.

 Few signs of the deadly shootings remain at the Piggly Wiggly on Meredith Drive. But people who were inside the store at the time will likely never forget what they heard and saw Sunday afternoon. A man who would only identify himself as 'Ron' was in the store minutes before the shooting. He knew the shooter.

"Very shocking," he said. "Very shocking, because that's not his character."

He also told us while in the store he never heard a disturbance. "There wasn't any drama."

There were as many as 25 people in the store when Tommy Lamar opened fire. Some ran for cover.

"They did find some of the employees locked in a room at the rear of the store," said Albany Police Chief James Younger.  

Customers say while the incident at the store appears isolated, it's still un-nerving.

"You don't think when you got to a grocery store that your life is going to be put at risk," said Piggly Wiggly Customer Alexies McDuffie. "All you think about is getting your groceries for your family at home and that you're going to be able to go home with your food and be okay so it makes it very unnerving."

Scott Hutzell and his family recently moved to Lee County from Carroll County.

His mother told us on the phone today that Scott has a twin sister, he was a drummer in his high school band, and he was quote "trying to turn his life around." She didn't elaborate on that. His funeral is Thursday afternoon.

Neither Hutzell nor Lamar had a criminal record here in Dougherty County.

Both their bodies are at the state crime lab for autopsy and police continue their investigation.

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