A Georgia couple was gunned down at home while their toddler was left unharmed, according to reports.
The 31-year-olds — Justin Hicks, a Cherokee County firefighter, and his wife Amber — were both killed in Cobb County by an unknown shooter early Thursday morning, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. The couple’s 2-year-old child is safe with other family members, according to the outlet.
The head of the Cherokee County Fire Department, where Hicks worked for more than six years, labeled him “highly motivated” and “energetic.”
“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,” Cherokee County Fire Chief Tim Prather said Friday in a statement. “He was really thrilled on his recent accomplishment of completing his paramedic program training.
“Justin has touched and impacted many lives, and he will be dearly missed.”
The couple’s neighbor described the sad scene of cops bringing the toddler to safety.
“I run up the street, they’re freaking out and crying, and the police brings the child out holding him by his torso, runs him out, and the grandmother grabbed him, and the grandfather grabbed him, and they’re crying and freaking out saying, ‘Where’s my baby?’” Hannah Mabrey, who lives next door, recalled to a local TV station.
Mabrey told Fox 5 Atlanta the pair — who she described as “really sweet people” — had recently bought a house in the neighborhood.
“This is the nicest couple. They were young, they had a young child,” she said. “They just moved here and were so excited to be homeowners.”
“The whole neighborhood came together over it to support their family,” Mabrey added. “They were really sweet people. I can’t imagine who did this to them.”
Neighbors were shocked by the slaying of the couple.
“It’s insane. This is a very nice neighborhood and never have police in here and helicopters flying,” said resident Riley Gasaway, according to ABC affiliate WSB-TV 2. “It’s very crazy.”
Police have not yet determined a motive for the murders, multiple outlets reported.