BOONE COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — A man killed his 31-year-old niece and 4-year-old great nephew Wednesday in Zionsville before fatally shooting himself in a downtown Indianapolis hotel, authorities said.
Police say the body of Lucius Hamilton III was found with a gunshot wound to the head in a hotel in downtown Indianapolis on 120 West Market Street.
Authorities say financial gain from a family trust worth millions of dollars was the motive for the killings.
Hamilton was on the fourth floor of the hotel. The rooms on either side of his were unoccupied and hotel rooms were evacuated.
Police say two shots were fired in the hotel shortly after police knocked on the hotel room door.
Police officers did not fire any shots and no police officer was injured.
Police say he barricaded himself in the hotel room.
He shot himself around 3 p.m. police said.
“I could not be more proud of all the law enforcement officers involved today,” said Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen. “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.”
Police believe Hamilton shot and killed his niece, 31-year old Katherine Giehll, and her child, 4-year-old Raymond Giehll IV.
Wednesday was Katherine Giehll’s 31st birthday.
“We had a 31-year-old mother and a 4-year-old child, for no valid reason whatsoever, were murdered. And the reason that Lu Hamilton did this, or alleged to have done this is still part of the investigation,” said Captain David Bursten of the Indiana State Police.
Investigators responded to the 6800 block of Old Hunt Club Road shortly before 9 a.m.
Nielsen confirmed the deaths during a press conference around 11 a.m. During a second press conference, he identified 61-year-old Lucius Hamilton III, an employee for Wabash College, as the prime suspect.
The college was placed on lockdown on Wednesday afternoon. That lockdown was lifted at 3 p.m.
Wabash College’s website lists him as “Senior Major Gifts Officer.”
“In my 32 years of law enforcement, I have never witnessed a crime so heinous and heartbreaking,” Nielsen said.
Officials said he was last seen driving a white Dodge van with Wabash College plate WA25 that was checked out from the college around 9:30 a.m.
“This is a very tragic event,” Sheriff Nielsen said. “As you can understand, this is a serious matter, and we need to handle it perfectly. We are utilizing multiple agencies to assist with solving this crime and we will exhaust every resource to help investigate this to the fullest.”
Officials also said they have reached out to U.S. Marshals, FBI and the TSA to assist them in the investigation.
It’s not clear yet how the two victims died. Police say they are investigating this as a double homicide. Authorities are currently speaking with family members and neighbors.
The Boone County Sheriff’s Office, Zionsville Police Department, Lebanon Police Department, Indiana State Police, Whitestown Police Department, Boone County Emergency Management and the Boone County Coroner’s Office are all investigating.