6 Confirmed Dead In Columbia County, Including Accused Shooter

Photo of Wayne Anthony Hawes. (Credit: Columbia County Sheriff's Office)
Photo of Wayne Anthony Hawes. (Credit: Columbia County Sheriff's Office)

***UPDATED at 8:20 A.M. on Saturday, April 23rd***

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office has released some details about a deadly shooting spree in Columbia County that started Friday night and ended with the discovery of the suspected shooting being found dead in his home from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

A Sheriff’s Office spokesperson tells us deputies responded to 3162 Johnson Drive, in Appling, at 7:54 p.m. in reference to a shooting.

Deputies were able to confirm that the following people died after being shot by 50-year-old Wayne Anthony Hawes, of Rosemont Road, in Appling:

  • Roosevelt Burns, 75, of McCladdie Drive, in Appling
  • Rheba Mae Dent, 85 of Johnson Drive, in Appling
  • Kelia Clark, 31, of Johnson Drive, in Appling

As deputies and investigators were at the Johnson Drive crime scene, they received a call at 8:32 p.m. to another shooting at 5581 Washington Road, in Appling.

Two people were found dead at that location:

  • Lizzy Williams, 59
  • Shelly Williams, 62

Both died as a result of gunshot wounds. According to witness accounts, investigators believed tha shootings were connected.

Early in the investigation, the spokesperson tells us, investigators were able to conduct surveillance at Hawes’ home, which is located at 3311 Rosemont Road, in Appling. Shortly after midnight the decision was made to enter the home. Once the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team made entry, they found the Hawes dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Also inside was evidence that Hawes had unsuccessfully attempted to set fire to the house.

Some of the victims are believed to be related to Hawes’ wife and that the shootings started after she threatened to leave him.

We will continue to stay on top of this story and provide the latest information as it becomes available.


***UPDATED at 2:49 A.M. on Saturday, April 23rd***

Appling, GA (WJBF) – The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office confirms that the accused shooter, 50-year-old Wayne Anthony Hawes, shot and killed himself inside his home.

All 5 shooting victims have now been identified as:

  • Roosevelt Burns, 75, of McCladdie Drive, in Appling, Georgia
  • Rheba Mae Dent,  85, of Johnson Drive, in Appling, Georgia
  • Kelia Clark, 31, of Johnson Drive, in Appling, Georgia
  • Lizzy Williams, 59
  • Shelly Williams, 62

We will continue to follow this story and provide the latest details as they become available.


*** UPDATED at 10:52 P.M. on Friday, April 22nd***

Appling, GA (WJBF) – We have learned that Investigators are looking for Wayne Anthony Hawes, 50. He is described as being 5’9″ tall, and weighing 230 pounds. Deputies say the suspect knew the victims and they are trying to figure out the motive in these shootings.


*** UPDATED at 10:23 P.M. on Friday, April 22nd***

Appling, GA (WJBF) – Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins tells us that 2 people are dead at the Johnson Drive location, 2 people are are dead at the Rosemont Road location, and a fifth person has died at Augusta University Medical Center.


*** POSTED at 9:30 P.M. on Friday, April 22nd***

Appling, GA (WJBF) – Columbia County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers confirm that two people are dead in a shooting on Johnson Drive, in Appling, Georgia.

Two other victims are confirmed to have died in a shooting that happened on Rosemont Road.

The shooting suspect is still on the loose and investigators are trying to find him now.

We have a crew on the scene and we will keep you posted on this developing story. Stay tuned to WJBF.com, News Channel 6 at 11:00, as well as Facebook and Twitter for this latest on this story.

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