Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

February 19, 2013

Lanier shooting probe continues

Sheriff’s office: Wounding of daughter may have been accidental

LANIER COUNTY — Investigators stated they believe that the deceased suspect in a weekend shooting didn’t intentionally target his daughter when he fired rounds at his retreating wife. The preliminary probe into the tragedy has indicated that the man killed himself with a single shot to his head in the family’s Eleanor Place residence Saturday afternoon, according to reports from the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives believe that an argument between Benny Mark Flynn, 50, and his wife escalated into the shooting when Flynn fired several rounds at his retreating spouse sometime after noon on Saturday, reports stated. Investigators think the couple’s daughter was simply an unintended victim of a Flynn fit of rage, according to reports, and both wife and child are expected to recover.

Officers were initially dispatched to the residence on reports that three people had been shot, according to reports. A responding deputy was met by Flynn’s wife who stated that both she and her daughter had been shot by her husband, who subsequently shot himself inside of the residence, according to reports.

The responding officer, backed by an off-duty deputy, searched the residence and found Flynn lifeless in the master bedroom of the home, reports stated. Flynn appeared to have died of a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and was later ruled deceased by the Lanier County coroner, reports stated.

Flynn’s wife was taken to South Georgia Medical Center and her child, who had been cradled by a neighbor in the aftermath, was moved to a landing zone by Berrien County Sheriff’s officers and air-lifted to Gainesville by Life Flight, reports stated.

Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) crime scene technicians processed the scene for more than nine hours, while GBI and sheriff office investigators canvassed the area, reports stated. Investigators went to the hospital to check on the condition of Flynn’s wife and attempt an interview, but were unable to do so at that time, according to reports.

The firearm believed to be used in the incident was recovered at the scene, according to reports. There has been some indication that drugs and alcohol may have played a part in the incident, though those details are pending lab results and further interviews, reports stated.

Sheriff Norton has asked for prayers for a speedy recovery for the victims as well as for the loss suffered by the Flynn family in this senseless tragedy.

The GBI has assumed lead investigative responsibility for the case and will be working closely with the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office, reports stated. Sheriff Norton expressed his gratitude for all of the assistance the sheriff’s office received from the GBI, emergency management services and area law enforcement personnel.

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