A well-known Georgia businessman and philanthropist was shot and killed in an apparent carjacking attempt, and police are searching for a suspect, according to officials.
Jack Hough, 73, was sitting in his vehicle on Feb. 7 while his wife was inside a pharmacy near Atlanta when the suspect approached him, reported the Gainesville Times.
“She goes in the store to make a purchase, and he stays in the vehicle,” Gainesville Police Chief Jay Parrish said, according to the newspaper, which also reported that he was gunned down at around 8 p.m. local time at the parking lot of the CVS Pharmacy on Park Hill Drive.
Jack Hough has been a friend, supporter and mentor since I came to Gainesville. I will miss him terribly. Such a senseless loss.
Hough, an Air Force veteran who later founded MSE Branded Food Systems, was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, the news outlet also reported.
“It’s senseless. I’m numb. I mean, my wife last night said she couldn’t cry anymore,” close friend Andy Piucci said, reported Fox News. “He was a great friend and just a wonderful person. It’s just horrible.”
Police haven’t yet identified a suspect, but witnesses said that a black man wearing all black was seen leaving the scene on foot.
“There are people who know who attacked this man. I hope they can’t sleep until they come and let us know what they know,” Parrish said of the incident, WSB-TV reported.
The police chief also offered his condolences to Hough’s widow.
“I can’t imagine what it would be like to walk out of that business and find citizens rendering aide to my spouse. That’s what breaks my heart and keeps me up and driven to find this man,” he added.
In this work, we are invited into the lives of families who struggle. It is a humbling privilege to work side by side…
Ed Jones, vice president of MSE Branded Foods, said Hough was the “most outgoing person you would ever meet,” while another person who knew him, Connie Stephens, described him as “compassionate.”
“I think not only was he successful as a business person in the community, but he really cared, and that’s what stuck out the most,” Stephens said.
“Jack Hough has been a friend, supporter and mentor since I came to Gainesville. I will miss him terribly. Such a senseless loss,” wrote Scott’s Downtown fka Scott’s on the Square on Facebook.
Gainesville, located 55 miles north of Atlanta, has seen a surge in gun-related crimes in recent days, Fox reported.
Jack Hough, you will be missed by so many. Thank you for your kindness, being a philanthropist and having one of the…
“We understand you’re alarmed and concerned for your safety in this city. We know that random acts of violence are not the norm for Gainesville,” Parrish said.
Friends said they’re setting up a $25,000 reward for information that could lead to an arrest in the case.
Violent Crime Down
Despite the recent spike in gun crime in Atlanta, violent and property crimes have seen a downward trend, according to statistics collected by the FBI. Some areas, however, have significantly deteriorated and others, despite improvements, still need attention.
The violent crime rate—including offenses such as murder, robbery, and aggravated assault—dropped by almost one percent and is still about 4 percent above the 2014 rate. The murder rate dropped by 0.7 percent.
The decline in crime, albeit small, cut short a worrisome spike in violence in previous years. Between 2014 and 2016, the murder rate had increased by more than 20 percent, to 5.4 per 100,000 residents, from 4.4. The last two-year period that the rate soared so quickly was between 1966 and 1968.
The rate of property crimes, such as theft and burglary, has declined 3.6 percent since 2016 and is down more than 26 percent since a decade ago.
Petr Svab contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times