GRANTVILLE, Ga. — The family of Tommy, Evelyn and Luke Hawk reacted Saturday to the arrest in the murder of the grandparents and their grandson at the gun store the Hawks owned in Coweta County by saying they will "continue to pray for the redemption of the perpetrator."
Jacob Muse, 21, was arrested on Friday and charged with the three murders in what police have said they believe was a robbery.
Family members have highlighted the deep Christian faith of the family in describing Tommy, Evelyn and Luke - Shelby Wright, Luke's aunt said this week they were "servants of the Lord."
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The family statement on Saturday echoed that theme, emphasizing that they are praying for law enforcement as well as the suspect:
We are encouraged and honored by the incredible efforts of our local law enforcement including the Grantville Police and Coweta County Sheriff's department, as well as the ATF and GBI. We understand from Chief Steve Whitlock that the current development with the murder suspect in custody, was certainly a team effort. We are continuing to pray for their teams during this stressful time, and we will continue to pray for the redemption of the perpetrator.
Thank you again, to the City of Grantville and the community at large for such an outpouring of love and support. It is so meaningful that so many in our community cherished them as we did and have helped to shine a light in the darkness.
Tommy, Evelyn and Luke Hawk have been laid to rest but, we will certainly see them again.
The grandparents and their teenage grandchild were laid to rest in ceremonies on Thursday.
Wright described Luke earlier this week as "sunshine."
“Oh he was sunshine,” she told 11Alive's Jon Shirek. “He was just sunshine. Sweet, thoughtful, sensitive, just coming into his own, he was so excited to graduate in a month, he was so excited to go to Abraham Baldwin (Agricultural College), he was just ready to take that next step. And he loved his family. He loved his family.... They were just servants of the Lord... the kindest people you would ever meet.”
Ron Whitlock, Luke's uncle, said they were praying that the suspect "may find forgiveness.
He said it's what Tommy, Evelyn and Luke would have wanted.
“That was the kind of people they are," he said.
How to help
Anyone with information to help police, and to qualify for a reward, can call the tip line at 1-888-ATF-TIPS.
The family is asking that, instead of flowers, people would contribute to charities important to Tommy and Evelyn and Luke, as well as to the Coweta County Sheriff’s Reward Fund.
Donations to the Coweta Community Foundation will assist in tornado recovery efforts concerning the storm that damaged the county last year. The Hawk family is also asking for people to assist the community by gifting funds to the Ronald McDonald House.
People can also help add to the reward currently being offered in the case by donating to the Coweta County Sheriff's Reward Fund. Interested donors can mail a check to the sheriff's office at 560 Greison Trail, Newnan, GA 30263.
Donors should note the check with "Hawk Family Reward," according to the family.