Murder-suicide in Liberty Square shopping center: police

A US Army soldier allegedly chased his wife as he drove his van, followed her to a mall, killed her, and then died by suicide. Authorities in Hinesville, Georgia, have not identified the couple, pending notification of next of kin.

The incident happened on Friday, investigators said.

“Earlier today, the Hinesville Police Department, along with law enforcement officers from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia State Patrol and Military Police/CID of Ft Stewart responded to Liberty Square Mall due to reports of an active shooter/hostage situation inside Lendmark Financial Services LLC,” cops said. “Businesses immediately adjacent to Lendmark have been evacuated and others have been locked down. Access to the mall has been restricted until law enforcement can assess potential threats.

Liberty County authorities breached Lendmark Financial Services, only to find the couple dead from gunshot wounds.

“Both individuals appeared to have been involved in an ongoing domestic dispute,” officers said.

Authorities said there was no known danger to the community from the incident.

A man in a van chased a woman driving another vehicle, a witness said, according to the WTOC. The woman parked at the Liberty Square mall and ended up in a business. All the while, the man chased her, firing shots, the witness said.

The husband was a soldier in the US Army’s 3rd Infantry Division.

“We know that two people died in a shooting in Hinesville,” the nearby town of Fort Stewart said in a statement, according to the WTOC. “We are terribly saddened by this tragic incident and can confirm that one of those who died was a soldier from the 3rd Infantry Division. The name of the soldier will not be released or confirmed until next of kin notification will not be finished.”

The mall was blocked off and shoppers moved to the edges of the parking lot as law enforcement responded.

“We pushed them back as far as we thought we could give them safe cover and directed them to cover, then began the evacuation of all other businesses,” the deputy chief of Hinesville said. Tracey Howard said. “It all happened simultaneously and a lot of it was thanks to this big, big effort by local law enforcement.”

Apparent Lendmark employees declined to comment on the outlet. The WTOC described them hugging and crying at the scene.

The alleged motive was initially unclear.

Rick Fairclothowner of shoe and clothing store Pro Feet a few doors down in Lendmark, told WTGS’ Destiny Wiggins the husband was a customer of his business and had done his shopping there the day before.

“Did he think about that yesterday when he was here?” said Faircloth. ” Where was it [an] all of a sudden ? No one knows yet, I guess.

[Screenshot via WSAV]

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