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Authorities ID three deceased in Lumpkin County suspected murder-suicide
Kelley McDonald.jpg
Kelley McDonald

Authorities identified the three people killed in a suspected murder-suicide Thursday in Lumpkin County.

Tracy Lynne Runnels, 38, of Dahlonega, Kelly Jean Garrison, 35, of Tampa, Florida, and Kelley James McDonald Jr., 39, of Tampa, Florida, died from fatal gunshot wounds.

McDonald was wanted by authorities on a domestic-violence related incident with Garrison.

A 911 caller told authorities Thursday, April 5, about a man walking through their yard to a neighbor’s house.

Jarrard said deputies responded to the call around 8:30 a.m. Thursday, April 5, to Bryn Drive in the Lumpkin County part of Dawsonville.

The deputy saw a deceased female victim while walking toward the garage. 

“As they were clearing the residence, they heard three other gunshots,” he said.

The deputies made their way toward the basement.

“It appears that the offender had taken the life of another female there, which appeared to be his wife, and then from there he took his own life,” Jarrard said.

The Lumpkin Sheriff’s Office said McDonald was the man who killed the two women before killing himself. McDonald was wanted for domestic battery by strangulation, domestic violence and burglary with assault/battery, and domestic violence by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, according to a Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay webpage.

Jarrard said Garrison was seeking cover in Lumpkin County with her sister from the shooting suspect, Jarrard said.

Jarrard said authorities believe it to be a “husband/wife situation.”

Jarrard said three children were at the scene, ages 2, 13 and 16.

“He continued through the house shooting a 16-year-old female while a 13-year-old female (escaped) through the back and was able to call 911 at a nearby neighbor.”

Jarrard said the 16-year-old underwent surgery for the gunshot wound.

A 2-year-old did not have injuries when examined at the hospital, Jarrard said.

Authorities are also investigating an early 2000s model gold or champagne-colored Ford Explorer seen near the scene driven by a white woman wearing aviator sunglasses.

“It is just a vehicle of interest, because we do not know how the husband got to the incident location at this time,” Jarrard said.

The three bodies were sent to the GBI crime lab for autopsies.

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