Houston & Peach

WR mom kills son then self, police say

WARNER ROBINS -- A 79-year-old mother shot her 55-year-old son to death and then shot and killed herself Thursday in their Warner Robins home, police said.

The victims were identified as Julia Rogers and Jack Rogers of 119 Mary Lane, said Tabitha Pugh, public information officer for Warner Robins police.

Julia Rogers shot her son once in the head with a handgun, and then shot herself once in the head.

The handgun was recovered, Pugh said. No suicide note was found.

No additional suspects are sought, with the case described by police as a homicide-suicide. The death of Jack Rogers is the fifth homicide in Warner Robins this year, Pugh said.

Police were dispatched to the home at 8:48 p.m. when 911 received calls within seconds of each other from a concerned neighbor and Julia Rogers’ granddaughter.

The neighbor was suspicious something was wrong but did not know what had happened, Pugh said. The granddaughter had gone to the home after family members repeatedly called the residence but were unable to reach anyone, Pugh said. The granddaughter, who had a key to the home, discovered the bodies in a back bedroom.

Julia Rogers and Jack Rogers were alone when the shooting happened, Pugh said. The son lived with his mother at the residence. The home was also shared by another of Julia Rogers’ children, an adult daughter.

The son had some health issues, Pugh said.

Neighbors were shocked and saddened by the tragedy, with many noting that Julia Rogers was a very sweet person who lovingly cared for her disabled son.

No one had any idea that she was considering something like what happened, with one neighbor noting how she had inquired recently about having her home repainted.

“She was so sweet,” said next door neighbor Margie Monroe. “I just can’t imagine her doing that. I just can’t imagine, but maybe you just get overwhelmed.”

Julia Rogers was a widow, having lost her husband a few years ago, neighbors said. Her son suffered a stroke and moved in about the same time, either shortly before or after his father’s death, neighbors said.

Ann Rutherford remembered how the late husband, whose name was also Jack, once had a workshop at the home and refurbished furniture. Julia Rogers had an antique shop in the shopping center off Watson Boulevard that now includes a Chick-fil-A. The son once lived down the street from his parents in a six-unit apartment at 301 Mary Lane, next to Westminster Presbyterian Church and across from the playground at Shirley Hills Elementary School. For years, she said, he cleaned cars for an auto dealership.

When he lived independently, his mother was often over making sure he had enough groceries and tidying up his apartment, Rutherford said. He would often ride his scooter back and forth from his parents home to his apartment, Monroe recalled.

“They were really nice people,” said Harrell Perlman, who lives across the street and described himself as a close personal friend of the family. “We’ll miss them.”

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.