A Closer Look at the Elderly Gas Station Shooter and Victim

9:14 AM, Dec 7, 2012   |    comments
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Frank Louis Reeves, 73, and Linda Hunicutt, 65, were two elderly and disabled local residents, strangers to each other who crossed paths in a moment of tragedy at an east Macon gas station around lunchtime this Tuesday.

Hunnicutt got out of her Buick after Reeves made contact with his motorized wheelchair and the two began arguing. 

That's when police say Reeves shot Hunnicutt in the chest. 

She died shortly after, and Reeves was charged with felony murder.

13WMAZ's Tom George and Katelyn Heck took a look at both the shooter and victim through the eyes of family and friends.

Family Remembers Linda Hunnicutt

Linda Hunnicutt moved to Jones County when she was three years old. Family members say they have always lived close to one another and been a tight-knit group.

With two children, five grandchildren, and a husband of 46 years, friends and family tell 13WMAZ, Hunnicutt's first love and only job was taking care of her family.

Her daughter Kim Butler says, "She was a homemaker. She was a therapist. She was 'go-to' for anything. She was always dependable. She always took care of us, took care of daddy."

Hunnicutt's sister-in-law Pamela Skinner says she did all of that, even with a disability. A ruptured aneurysm partially paralyzed Hunnicutt's left leg and arm when she was 23-years-old.

Skinner says, "It was a miracle she overcame that, but that's the type of woman she was. They told her she would never walk again, but she proved them wrong. She couldn't use her arm like I use my arm, but she cooked and cleaned and did everything I did with two arms."

They say Hunnicutt also got into a head-on collision in her car a few years later, but never let her medical setbacks keep her down.

Members of Hunnicutt's church, Wheeler Heights in Macon, say she attended every service and event she could and always tried to help others, especially during holidays.

Butler says Hunnicutt and her husband hosted an Easter egg hunt every year for kids from all over Macon. She says attendance sometimes soared up to 300 children.

The family says one of her favorite holiday traditions was sponsoring families during Christmas who could not afford presents.

A visitation is scheduled for Hunnicutt Friday night at Hart's Mortuary in downtown Macon from 6 to 8 p.m.

The funeral will be at Hart's Chapel on Saturday morning starting at 11.

A Look at Frank Louis Reeves' Background

The attorney for 73-year-old Frank Reeves, Veronica Brinson says he and his family are remorseful, and they offer their condolences to the Hunnicutt Family.

She says Reeves served in the U.S. Army in Korea in the 1970's, and has one son, Frank Dixon who lives in Macon. Dixon is active locally as a community leader in youth anti-violence programs.

Reeves has sisters that live in the area, and one friend said they take him every Sunday to St. Luke's Baptist Church in East Macon.

Reeves' lawyer says he suffered strokes in the past few years.  Friend and neighbor Charles Phillips says his issues communicating may have escalated Tuesday's situation.

"He's difficult to understand, and I think that may have played into it, because he has problems speaking so that other people can understand clearly because of his medical issues."

Reeves lived in an apartment on Gray Highway just a few hundred yards from the Murphy Express Gas Station where the shooting happened.  

One friend said living as an elderly, disabled person in an area with a high crime rate may have made Reeves feel unsafe and need a weapon for protection.

"Sometimes it's pretty scary over here, especially if you put yourself in his situation," Phillips says he doesn't believe Reeves would have shot anyone unless he really felt threatened at that moment.

Reeves made his first court appearance Wednesday, and remains in custody at the Bibb County jail.  He is charged with felony murder.

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