Video: Murder-suicide shocks Warner Robins neighbors
Valentine's Day ended tragically for a Warner Robins couple late Sunday.
Police were called to a domestic dispute just before 11:30 p.m., but no one came to the door. A SWAT team was called, and when officers entered the home, they found a man and a woman dead inside, according to a statement from the Warner Robins Police Department.
Both of them, 41-year-old Christopher Hankinson and 45-year-old Angela Polk, apparently died of gunshot wounds in what investigators characterized as a homicide/suicide.
Officers recovered a gun near the bodies, and Warner Robins police spokeswoman Jennifer Parson confirmed that investigators say Hankinson pulled the trigger.
His nephew had tears in his eyes after he drove up to the roped-off crime scene to talk to police and check on his young cousins.
Hankinson had a teenage daughter and younger son who were sent to a neighbor's house when the couple started arguing Sunday night at the home, located at 227 Tyson Glen Drive.
"He was a loving, caring uncle, and he did everything he could for his family and his kids," Brandon Hankinson said.
The couple had been dating less than a year.
"She was nice," he said.
Ladonna Johnson, who lives across the street, did not know the couple well and slept through the commotion.
She came outside in her bathrobe Monday morning to offer police coffee and a place to use the restroom.
"I can't believe it happened in our small little neighborhood," Johnson said. "Warner Robins is very safe. I've never heard of any crimes around here like this."
Her 9-year-old boy, who was enjoying a day off from school, held up binoculars to get a closer look at police crime scene technicians who were collecting evidence inside the house.
Hankinson's son had played with Johnson's boy a few times, but she had only met Polk one time.
"They kept to themselves pretty much," Johnson said.
She said she did not hear any gunfire, but her backdoor neighbor's daughter did hear something.
Nithya Jayasree, of Daytona Beach, who was visiting her mother, couldn't sleep because the room was too warm, so she opened a window.
"I heard like banging, like someone banging on the door," Jayasree said. "I think I heard someone shouting, I'm not sure. I didn't really pay much attention because I thought people were partying,"
Jayasree's cat was antsy and whining at the door, but she didn't expect to wake up to find two of her mother's neighbors dead.
"I'm shocked because we've never heard anything, like we've never heard them fight," she said. "We always thought it was a really safe neighborhood because there are a lot of cops living here."
Police have not said what may have prompted the argument.
Telegraph writer Wayne Crenshaw contributed to this report. To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303 and follow her on Twitter@liz_lines.