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Sheriff: deaths were result of murder, suicide
crime scene photo
The house at 20500 Hwy. 144 in South Bryan, where authorities say a man killed his wife and shot at a neigthbor’s home with an assault rifle before setting fire to his home and shooting himself. - photo by Photo by Lewis Levine

Authorities say a South Bryan man killed his wife, fired shots at a nearby home and then tried to set fire to his home before killing himself early Tuesday morning.

Jeffrey Minor, 49, and his wife, Gail Minor, approximately 50, were found dead around 1 a.m. by Bryan County Sheriff’s Department deputies, according to Sheriff Clyde Smith.

Smith said deputies were called to a home at 62 Smith Road because someone had fired shots at the home. When they checked at the Minors’ home at 20500 Hwy. 144, they heard smoke alarms and called the Bryan County Department. Firefighters responded and found two bodies inside the master bedroom, authorities said.

Smith said a .38-caliber handgun was found with the bodies and detectives determined that Gail Minor had been shot twice in the head. Jeffrey Minor had been shot once.

Investigators believe Minor shot his wife, then went outside with an AR 15 assault rifle and fired 10 shots at the home on Smith Road, Smith said.

Minor reportedly then returned to the home and began to trash the place, setting several fires before going into the bedroom where he shot himself. No one else was at the residence at the time, authorities said.

The bodies were sent to the GBI crime lab in Savannah, where an autopsy showed gunshot wounds were the cause of death.

The sheriff said there were no complaints about the Minors on record and his department had never been called to the home before. There also was no history of a dispute with the neighbors at the Smith Road home.

"We don’t know what caused this incident," he said.

Authorities first released information about the incident to the press at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Lewis Levine is a freelance crime reporter.

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