Fayette County deputies said a homeowner was shot and killed when she and her grandmother returned home to find burglars inside Friday morning.
It happened at a home on Bohannon Road in Tyrone. Deputies said the women had been running errands then returned home to surprise the thieves.
"The burglars fled the scene out the back door," said Investigator Brent Rowan. "When they fled the scene, they discharged a firearm striking the 44-year-old victim in the front yard."
Deputies said the woman died at the scene. The grandmother was not injured.
A friend who attended church with the women said the victim lived with her 78-year-old grandmother who had raised her since she was a baby. He described them as very devout Christians.
"If you're running away why do have to shoot someone?" asked the friend, who did not want to be identified. "Why do you have to take a life? Life's too precious."
Deputies said the 44-year-old was physically and mentally handicapped. Neighbors said the grandmother raised her since the girl was an infant.
"I know her grandmother is taking it hard, very hard," said Rendel Cunningham, neighbor.
Cunningham and his wife have lived next to the women for 40 years.
He said he heard a shot around noon, but didn't think anything of it.
"Hearing a shot out here is not uncommon. You're in the country," Cunningham said.
Kiyo Crowley, neighbor, said her sister heard a gunshot too, but Crowley didn't think anything of it either. She said deputies later visited her house with a warning.
"They said to lock your doors and make sure you don't stay outside here an be careful," Crowley said.
The Fayette County Sheriff's Office said it is unsure how many suspects they are looking for but they believe they fled the scene in a silver, four-door car. They are offering a reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
CBS Atlanta News knows the names of the grandmother and granddaughter, but the Fayette County Sheriff's Office is not releasing the names of the victims because it is an active investigation.
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