INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A man killed his 31-year-old niece and 4-year-old great nephew for financial gain 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 downtown Indianapolis hotel around 3 p.m.
Authorities say financial gain from a family trust worth millions of dollars was the motive for the killings.
Hamilton reportedly barricaded himself inside a room on the fourth floor of the Hilton hotel at 120 West Market Street.
Police say officers spoke briefly with Hamilton before two shots were fired from inside the room.
Police say officers did not fire any shots and no police officer was injured.
The rooms on either side of his were unoccupied, but other rooms in the area were evacuated.
“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,” said Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen. “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 son, 4-year-old Raymond Giehll IV. Wednesday was Katherine’s 31st birthday, police said.
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 . 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.”
Wabash College released a statement Wednesday evening.
“All of us at Wabash College are deeply saddened by the event that unfolded in Zionsville this morning, and we extend our condolences to all who are affected by these tragedies,” the statement says in part.
Officials said they have reached out to U.S. Marshals, FBI and the TSA to assist them in the investigation.
It’s not clear yet exactly 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.