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Victims, suspect in Harbour Point shooting identified

Deputies fatally shoot man who killed mother, stabbed aunt

POSTED: July 12, 2011 3:47 p.m.

Hall County deputies shot and killed a man they believed stabbed two women, killing one of them in a scene that ended in the street of an upscale lakeside community Monday night.

Officials identified the deceased woman as Mary Pearce, 64. The stabbing victim was identified as her sister-in-law, Gretchan Pearce, 66.

Deputies believe Mary Pearce's son, 29-year-old John Pearce, killed his mother and stabbed his aunt.

Deputies say the scene unfolded around 8 p.m. Monday in the gated Harbour Point Yacht Club subdivision off Dawsonville Highway.

Authorities say it was shortly after that time that two sheriff's deputies responded to reports of a homicide in the 3600 block of Sunset Point Drive.

A person calling 911 reported that two people had been injured: one of them had critical injuries and one of them was possibly dead.

Once deputies arrived on the scene, Col. Jeff Strickland, Hall County's chief deputy, said the deputies were immediately confronted by John Pearce, the man believed responsible for the incident.

"The perpetrator charged the deputies, and was shot and killed," Strickland said.

When deputies found him, the man was "covered in blood and highly agitated," Strickland said. So far, the man has only been described by authorities as a white male. Strickland could not say Monday whether the man was holding a weapon when he was killed.

Neighbor Carol Baker said she and her husband were in their computer room when they heard shots. They went to the front door and saw sheriff's deputies and the suspect, who was covered in blood and not clothed.

They saw him fall at the edge of their driveway. Baker said she could not tell if the man had a weapon.

She said they often saw the man at the house and that he seemed "creepy."

Blood still covered parts of the cul-de-sac this afternoon.

Deputies discovered Gretchan Pearce suffering from "serious stab wounds" at a neighbor's house, Strickland said.

She was flown to Atlanta Medical Center for treatment. Her condition was not known Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities believe Gretchan Pearce fled to a neighbor's home in the subdivision.

Deputies found Mary Pearce dead in her home, "the victim of stab wounds and gunshot wounds," Strickland said.

The two deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation into their actions, Strickland said.

The action is routine procedure for officer-involved shootings, Strickland said.

Regional staff writer Jeff Gill contributed to this report.

 

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