Family of victim in wheelchair shooting speaks out about their loved one
The family of 65-year-old Linda Hunnicutt says the Jones County woman was an extremely giving and caring person who wouldn't harm a fly.
Hunnicutt was killed Tuesday after police say 73-year-old Frank Reeves hit Hunnicutt's car with his motorized wheelchair. When she got out of the car, witnesses say Reeves and Hunnicutt had a brief exchange before he shot her in the chest with a .38 caliber revolver.
Hunnicutt's family says the woman was involved in many holiday season charities, sponsoring needy kids and giving them Christmas presents. Hunnicutt's son-in-law Tony Butler says the woman wasn't only a mother to him, but to the countless kids in Middle Georgia she gave Christmas too.
"A wonderful, wonderful mother in law, I've been married more than once and by far she's been the greatest one, she's just a great lady all around," Butler said.
An arrest warrant for Frank Reeves says the man was trying to scare Hunnicutt when he shot her, but Hunnicutt's daughter Kim Butler says he had no reason to be afraid.
"I don't know why that man felt he was in fear, or why he felt he needed to scare her by shooting, my mom wouldn't hurt anybody," Kim Butler said.
Kim says her mother was a humble woman. She was friends with all the kids in the neighborhood, participating in backyard football games, even though she suffered from partial paralysis due to a brain aneurysm when she was 23-years-old.
"She was like superwoman to us, she was the cat with the nine lives, she faced adversity over and over again throughout her life, and she always bounced up," said Tony Butler.
The family says Hunnicutt wasn't able to move her left arm, a trait she shared with her accused killer. Police are still searching for more witnesses to find out exactly what was said during the brief exchange between Hunnicutt and Reeves, but her daughter says it's likely Hunnicutt wanted to make sure Reeves was okay.
"She was getting out of the car to check on him, to make sure he was okay, this is senseless, it's crazy," Kim Butler said.
While the family will be missing Hunnicutt during Christmas this year they say she wouldn't want them to be sad or angry, but instead be happy and caring, the way she lived her whole life.
"Honest to God my mom has probably forgiven this man. Like my daddy said, she's probably forgiven him." Kim Butler said.
"If we had to say something for her, that's one thing she would want us to say, that his family be blessed, and pray for his soul," said Tony Butler.
A memorial service will be held for Hunnicutt on Saturday at 11 a.m. in the Chapel of Hart's Mortuary on Cherry Street. The family is asking people to donate to the Jay's Hope Charity instead of bringing flowers.