HALL COUNTY -- Hall County Sheriff’s Office deputies are investigating the shooting deaths of former Hall County Board of Commissioners candidate Troy Phillips and his wife, Heather Phillips.
“Investigators are looking into the possibility that there was a dispute between the two last night but have not yet determined who is responsible for the deaths,” according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Office. “At this time investigators do not have reason to believe the neighborhood is in danger.”
Deputies responded to a Chicopee Village residence on Third Street at about 9:30 a.m. Thursday. They discovered both individuals dead of gunshot wounds, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Stephen Wilbanks said.
Wilbanks said a friend or acquaintance of the couple stopped by the house and discovered the scene before calling 911.
Troy Phillips worked as a dispatcher for Choice Facility Services and Construction as of his February announcement that he was running for a seat on the commission.
He graduated from Johnson High School in 1988 and is also a graduate of Colorado Technical University with a master’s degree in criminal justice management. Phillips served in the Persian Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
His wife also graduated from Johnson High School, according to her Facebook page. They were both in their 40s.
In Chicopee Village, neighbor Andrea Chastain described the news as a “tragic loss.”
“They were civic-minded and wanted to do good things for the community,” she said.
Chastain and Heather Phillips bonded over their love of animals, as Phillips built an outdoor shelter for her own cats.
“She was just a real sweet lady, kind-hearted and loved animals, and I just hate to hear that,” Chastain said.
Debra Pilgrim, chairwoman of the Hall County GOP, said Troy Phillips cooked for people at the American Legion and collected warm coats for those in need. She added that “Heather was a very giving to the community.” Pilgrim said she knew the couple as having a happy, loving relationship.
“People are terribly saddened … and are wanting to know what the circumstances are,” Pilgrim said. “They are saddened and shocked.”
Wilbanks said authorities are waiting on the medical examiner’s report before much more is released.
“It will tell us a great deal more about the nature of the gunshot wounds, the angles that they came from, possibly the position of the weapon and the proximity of the weapon to the person’s body,” he said.