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.
The preliminary investigation revealed Mary Pearce called her sister-in-law to say she needed assistance with her son. Sometime after that call, John Pearce killed his mother by shooting her with a small caliber handgun and stabbing her multiple times.
About 20 gunshots had been fired inside the house, and officials say evidence indicated the son intended to set the house on fire but was interrupted by his aunt. He attacked her with a knife, stabbing her several times. She fled to her car, then ran across the street to a neighbor's house. The neighbor called 911.
Gretchan Pearce is in critical condition in the intensive care unit at Atlanta Medical Center. She is expected to survive her injuries.
The neighbor who called 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, John Pearce was "covered in blood and highly agitated," Strickland said. Strickland could not say Monday whether he 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.
Staff writer Jeff Gill contributed to this report.