Three people are dead after an woman's ex-husband kidnapped her from where she worked and carried out a murder-suicide in the neighboring county, according to Hart County Sheriff Mike Cleveland.
The chaos began inside Frohmuller's Grill on Rock Springs Road in Lavonia, just after the restaurant closed Saturday night.
Cleveland said the suspect, Sammy Chumley, burst into the restaurant with the intention of kidnapping his ex-wife Laurie, who worked at Frohmuller's.
Chumley was armed and began firing shots inside the restaurant when his wife protested.
"There were a lot of shots fired in there," Cleveland said.
The restaurant owner, Jason Forkin, was caught in the crossfire and died at the scene before deputies arrived, Cleveland said.
"We're not sure if Mr. Forkin was just a bystander or if he was targeted by Mr. Chumley," Cleveland said.
Three other employees were able to run to safety, but Cleveland said Laurie wasn't so lucky.
Chumley kidnapped the woman and took her to a burned-down home site on Muddy Creek Road in Franklin County, where Cleveland said Chumley killed his ex-wife and then himself.
"Officials in Franklin County told me Chumley used to live at that address before the house burned down," Cleveland said.
Cleveland said Chumley had a reputation for being extremely jealous and possessive over Laurie, even after their marriage ended.
Cleveland said the reason behind the sudden and violent crime spree remains a mystery.
Investigators in Hart and Franklin counties have turned the case over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
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