A toddler was miraculously found alive hours after his parents were fatally shot inside their Georgia home.
Cherokee County firefighter Timothy Justin Hicks and his wife, Amber, had both sustained gunshot wounds and been dead for several hours in their Cobb County home when police arrived on the scene to discover their lifeless bodies at roughly 9:30 a.m on Thursday.
In an interview with WAGA-TV, Hannah Mabrey, a neighbor described watching an officer, grasping the 2-year-old by the torso, rush the newly orphaned child out of the residence to his grandparents early Thursday as they wailed, “Where’s my baby?”
“The grandmother grabs him, and they’re crying,” Mabrey said.
She told the outlet that the couple, both 31, had recently moved into the neighborhood and were “so excited to be homeowners,” before they were suddenly slain overnight.
Mabrey said she was awakened early Thursday by the arrival of the panicked couple’s parents who were “freaking out,” after the toddler hadn’t shown up at daycare.
“Normally she was waking up early to take the kid to daycare, and she didn’t,” Mabrey said.
Another neighbor, Riley Gasway, expressed shock over the tragic death of the new residents.
“It’s insane. This is a very nice neighborhood and never have police in here and helicopters flying. It’s very crazy,” he told WSBTV.
According to Cobb police spokesman Sgt. Wayne Delk, the shootings by one or more “unknown assailants” occurred sometime between Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.
“This is being investigated as a double homicide,” Delk told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday, adding that investigators have not uncovered any evidence pointing to a murder-suicide.
In a statement mourning the couple’s death, Cherokee County Fire Chief Tim Prather said that Hicks, who he described as a “happy, funny, loved by many kind of guy,” had been with the department for six years and had recently completed his paramedic training, according to WSBTV.
“He was always a highly motivated, energetic individual who deeply loved his job as a firefighter and consistently worked to do better and be better every day,” Prather wrote. “Justin has touched and impacted many lives, and he will be dearly missed. Our hearts are broken as we mourn the loss of a member of our family and his lovely wife.”