Frank Louis Reeves, of Macon, Ga. Police said in a statement that Reeves’ motorized wheelchair bumped into 65-year-old Linda Hunnicutt’s car Tuesday at a Murphy Express station, who exchanged words with the 73-year-old Reeves. Police say Hunnicutt got out of her Buick Lucerne, and Reeves drew a gun and shot her in the chest.
ATLANTA — A chance encounter at a Georgia gas station left a 65-year-old woman dead and a 73-year-old man facing a murder charge after authorities say the woman’s car and his motorized wheelchair bumped and he opened fire, police said Wednesday.
Linda Hunnicutt, 65, had just pulled into the gas station in Macon shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday and stepped out of her Buick Lucerne when the man pulled a gun and fatally shot her, city police spokeswoman Jami Gaudet said.
“The whole encounter, I can tell you, was very brief,” Gaudet said. “Everybody is just reeling from this.”
Hunnicutt had driven into the gas pump bay when the two vehicles made contact, police say.
Hunnicutt, described as a homemaker who lived a few miles from the station, was shot once in the chest with a .38-caliber handgun, Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said.
The suspect, Frank Louis Reeves, was apprehended in the gas station parking lot. He was being held without bond on a murder charge at the Bibb County Jail, Gaudet said. She didn’t know whether he had an attorney, and jail records do not list one.
Reeves made a brief appearance in Magistrate Court in Macon, and the judge set a Dec. 19 hearing, according to local news reports. Reeves, wearing an orange jumpsuit, was brought to the courtroom in a wheelchair.
Reeves lives among apartments behind the service station, Jones said. No one answered a phone number listed for the residence on Wednesday, and a family member declined comment when reached by phone.
The gas station is along busy Gray Highway, and the encounter was so brief that many of the customers pumping gas were not immediately aware of what had just happened in one corner of the lot, Gaudet said.
When police arrived, Hunnicutt was in cardiac arrest and officers began performing CPR. She was taken to the Medical Center of Central Georgia, where the trauma team pronounced her dead at 1:25 p.m., less than a half-hour after the shooting.
The man gave a statement to detectives, Gaudet said, but authorities are not revealing what he said. Meanwhile, police were asking for the public’s help in identifying two men who may have witnessed the shooting.
Hunnicutt is married, and her husband was on the road for his job with a dental lab company when the shooting happened, Jones said.
Jones, who has been with the coroner’s office for 22 years, said he can’t recall a case such as this in the central Georgia city 80 miles southeast of Atlanta.
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