Chatham County, GA – A Savannah police officer and his wife were murdered on Monday morning by the female victim’s 16-year-old brother.
The murders took place at a home in Palmetto Bay Cove at about 6 a.m. on Aug. 13, Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley said during a press conference on Monday afternoon.
Chatham County Chief Assistant District Attorney Greg McConnell identified the suspect in both murders as Michael Barber, the younger brother of the woman who was killed, WJCL reported.
Chief Hadley said both victims had been stabbed to death.
There were two crime scenes, the chief explained, because police believed the male victim had left the couple’s home to get help after he and his wife were attacked.
He made it over to the next-door-neighbor’s house, where people were home, and 911 was called, the chief said.
The male victim expired at the neighbor’s house, and his wife was found dead inside their home. Her brother was arrested outside in the yard, the chief said.
No motive for the attack on the couple was known, and the chief would not release the victims’ names because he said the officer’s family had not yet been notified.
He said Barber lived with the couple, and said he didn’t have any information about what, if any, criminal history they teenager may have. The teen was enrolled in the Savannah – Chatham County Public School System, WTVM reported.
The chief said he was not aware of drugs or alcohol playing a factor in the crimes, but told reporters that police had been called to that address before.
“We have responded to that home in the last several weeks. It was some sort of domestic situation, but I don’t have any level of detail in relation to that,” Chief Hadley told reporters.
He said the crime scene was particularly difficult because so many of his department’s officers were friends with the victims.
“As many of you know, a lot of our officers came over from Savannah PD. They know the deceased, they know the folks that are on the scene there. And it becomes incredibly difficult,” the chief said.
Chief Hadley said Barber had been arrested and charged with two counts of murder. He was transported to the Youth Detention Center.
The district attorney announced that Barber was being charged as an adult, WJCL reported.
“We are saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of a Savannah Police officer and his wife. His family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers. Savannah PD is continuing to work with and cooperate with the ongoing investigation into this incident by Chatham County Police Department,” the Savannah Police Department said in a statement, according to WJCL.
Chief Hadley said his department would try to take the pressure off of the Savannah PD.
“We’re here to support them. To be good partners in law enforcement with them,” the chief said, noting that many of his officers were grieving as well.