Police Kill Suspected Killer After He Returns to Crime Scene
LILBURN, Ga. (AP) -- The man suspected of killing a high school coach and his son during a home invasion returned to the scene and walked past the grieving mother and the dying victims to retrieve his cell phone, police said.
The suspect, Terry James Chaney, was shot to death by police soon after the killings Tuesday night when officers chased him into the woods.
Authorities used the cell phone to identify the suspect Thursday. Officers called numbers stored on the phone to contact Chaney's family members. Those people identified the phone's owner as 19-year-old Chaney, of Lilburn, police spokesman Dan Huggins said.
Police believe Chaney broke into the home and killed Bill Venable, 55, and his 17-year-old son, Bill Venable Jr. Police said the father and son struggled with the attacker before they were shot.
Chaney returned to the home, walking past Venable's wife, Susan Venable, who was trying to help her wounded son and husband, Huggins said.
There was no apparent connection between the Venables and Chaney, Huggins said.
Chaney is also suspected of another home robbery nearby, in which he stole a car and $60 before driving to the Venables' house, Huggins said.
Chaney is the son of Sheila W. Chaney Wilson, who killed her mother and her pastor and then shot herself at a southeast Atlanta church three months ago. At the time, church members said Wilson had an unstable personality.
"He never has caused any problems," said Chaney's grandfather, Charlie Robinson. "I don't understand what went wrong."
Venable was a special education teacher, head wrestling coach and assistant football coach at Tucker High School in DeKalb County. Bill Jr. was a senior and a member of the football team.
Venable worked at the school for 16 years. The offensive line coach worked closely with his son on the football team, whose position was center.
The younger Venable had planned to attend Auburn University.
About 200 people, including Susan Venable, gathered at the school Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil. The wife and mother was upstairs in the house when the attacks occurred. She was not injured.
When the attacker fled into the woods, police pursued him with a helicopter, spotlights and a police dog. When they found the suspect, the man shot and wounded a police dog. Officers returned fire, hitting the man several times, Huggins said. He died at Gwinnett Medical Center.