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3 dead in Walmart shooting

Staff Report

A Tuesday morning turned grisly at the Tallassee Walmart on Gilmer Avenue. Police were dispatched at 10:16 on the June 19 morning for a report of a shooting.

"Upon arrival at the scene, officers located two vehicles in the parking lot near the garden center that had collided with each other," Tallassee Police Chief Matthew Higgins noted in a press release.

Harold Miller, a 65-year-old white male, was found lying in the parking lot of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Two white females; Treasa Miller, 58, and Barbara Buttles, 75, were shot inside their vehicle. All three were pronounced dead at the scene.

"Both ladies were victims of multiple gunshot wounds," said Higgins.

It is believed that Harold Miller shot his wife, Treasa, and her mother Barbara and then turned the gun on himself. The case is being ruled a murder/suicide.

"A preliminary investigation has determined that there was a previous history of domestic incidents between the family members," Higgins added.

Tallassee mayor Johnny Hammock received word from Higgins shortly after the 911 call and assisted with crowd control at the scene.

"When I got up there, there was no crime scene set up yet," Hammock said. "You had people recording with phones and taking pictures. You had the handful of witnesses. My role was to try and keep them away from the crime scene and keep them together because I knew we were going to have statements from them.

"It's the first murder/suicide in the city limits since I've been here. I've been here going on two years. I was letting people know that it was contained. It was not an active shooter."

Hammock is thankul to the different agencies that handled the incident.

"It was a hard day, a day I hope I never have to go through again. You think things like this can't happen in a small town. We're not immune to this kind of crime. It can happen anywhere in America. Tragedy doesn't discriminate on how big your town is."

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