ATLANTA (AP) — 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 onto the gas pump bay when the two vehicles made contact, police say.
Hunnicutt, described as a homemaker who lives 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, authorities said. Gaudet did not know whether Reeves had an attorney, and jail records do not list one.
Reeves made a brief appearance Wednesday 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.
Melissa Whisby, a former state corrections officer, told The Associated Press that she had just stopped at the gas station and saw Reeves back behind Hunnicutt's car. Whisby said Hunnicutt then got out of her car and walked around to where Reeves was.
"I looked down for a minute and when I looked back she was in a kneeling position," Whisby said, adding that Hunnicutt then slid slowly to the ground and did not move. "I was like, 'Something is wrong.'"
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