Police: Suspect in Zionsville double homicide shoots, kills himself in hotel room
ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (WXIN) – The suspect in the Zionsville double homicide shot and killed himself after police tracked him to a downtown Indianapolis hotel room Wednesday afternoon. The Wabash College employee is accused of killing his niece and her four-year-old son.
Officers were called to a home in the 6800 block of Old Hunt Club Road around 8:50 a.m. in rural Zionsville Wednesday, according to Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen. Nielsen said investigators found an adult female and a young child dead. Police said both had been shot.
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Investigators identified the victims as Katherine Janet Giehll, 31, and her son, Raymond Peter Giehll IV, 4. Raymond attended Traders Point Christian Academy. The boy was found in the living room while his mother was near the front door. A neighbor found the bodies and called police.
Photos from the scene:
Police were looking for Katherine Giehll's uncle, Lucius Oliver Hamilton III, 61, a Wabash College employee who was last seen driving a white 2013 Dodge full-size van with Wabash plate WA25. The van was checked out from the college around 9:30 a.m., police said. Hamilton, listed on the college's website as senior major gifts officer, was last seen on campus Wednesday morning. As a result of the investigation, Wabash College was placed on lockdown for several hours and students were told to shelter in place. Classes were also canceled.
Hamilton is considered "armed and dangerous," Nielsen said. Anyone who sees him or his van should call 911.
"I will not stop until I find you. We have a great team assembled here, and we will find you," Nielsen said. "And we will find you today. I suggest if you see this or if you hear this that you turn yourself in immediately."
Nielsen said the Boone County Sheriff's Office was collaborating with police in Zionsville, Whitestown and Lebanon as well as Indiana State Police to solve the case. Federal agencies have also been called to assist, Nielsen said, including the U.S. Marshals Service and FBI.
"We will exhaust every resource to help investigate this to the fullest," Nielsen said.
At 3:30 p.m. Sheriff Nielsen said they tracked Hamilton to the Hilton Indianapolis Hotel and Suites in the 120 block of West Market Street downtown, and about 20 minutes later, he announced that Hamilton shot and killed himself inside a hotel room.
According to Indiana State Police, law enforcement officers knocked on the door, and Hamilton responded, "Yes." Hamilton then realized law enforcement was at the door, and two shots were fired. Contrary to what Sheriff Nielsen previously reported, no shots were fired at officers.
Officers determined with electronic equipment that he was in there and not moving, so at that time they entered the hotel room. Hamilton died from a single gunshot wound to the head using a semi-automatic pistol. Officers found alcohol and prescription drugs inside the hotel room.
Also, the vehicle Hamilton was last seen in was located and will be processed as part of the crime scene; the location of the vehicle is not being released.
"I could not be more proud of all the law enforcement officers involved today. Agencies from across the state, including our federal partners, offered every resource available to locate Hamilton. We were able to utilize these resources to work, process and secure the scene. Through many investigative techniques, we were able track Hamilton down to a specific location in downtown Indianapolis where he cowardly took his life instead of choosing to face justice for his actions. My heart goes out to the Giehll family and to the first responders that witnessed this horrific scene," said Sheriff Nielsen.
Ron Evans, Head of School at Traders Point Christian Academy, sent this letter to families:
Dear Traders Point Christian Schools family,
We have been informed that one of our 4 year-old students, Raymond Giehll, and his mother were found dead this morning in their home. He attended Mrs. Jane Evans' 3's class on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. There is no earthly explanation for this but we can trust God even in the midst of this tragedy. Please join us in praying for Mr. Giehll, the extended family, and our EC staff as they process through an incredibly difficult time.
Timeline of Zionsville double homicide and search for suspect:
8:45 a.m. Police are called to house in the 6800 block of Old Hunt Club Road for a death investigation.
9:30 a.m. According to Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen, Lucius Oliver Hamilton III checked out a white Dodge van from Wabash College with license plate WA25.
11 a.m. Sheriff Nielsen says an adult female and a young child were found dead in the house, and it's being investigated as a double homicide.
12:30 p.m. Wabash College is on lockdown, and they cancel classes for remainder of the day.
1:10 p.m. Sheriff Nielsen says prime suspect in the Zionsville double homicide is Wabash College employee Lucius Oliver Hamilton III.
2:12 p.m. Sheriff Nielsen identifies victims as Katherine Janet Giehll, 31, and her son, Raymond Peter Giehll IV, 4.
3:30 p.m. Sheriff Nielsen announced that authorities tracked Hamilton to a Hilton hotel room, and he fired several shots at officers through the door.
3:30 p.m. Sheriff Nielsen announced that Hamilton shot and killed himself inside the hotel room
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