Local News

Suspect In Nash County Shootings Commits Suicide

Posted December 9, 2003

— Authorities may never know exactly who killed four people in Nash County after the prime suspect killed himself Tuesday.

Investigators found the bodies of four people, including a 10-year-old boy, shot to death Sunday at a Nash County home. Tuesday. they found Gary Lynch shot to death just over the Halifax County line.

Lynch shot himself in the driveway of his mother's home as Nash County Sheriff Jimmy Grimes was on his way to interview Lynch about the weekend deaths.

Charlene Lynch, 40, her 10-year-old son, Darwood Lynch, 58-year-old Curley Lynch and Curley's nephew, 41-year-old Larry Lynch, were found dead about 9 a.m. Sunday at Curley's home in the Aventon community in northern Nash County.

Grimes said Gary Lynch was the main suspect in the killings, adding that he had made threats about killing Charlene and Larry in the past.

The sheriff's department was building a case against Gary and remained hopeful Tuesday it could close this case.

Investigators were processing evidence from the first crime scene and looking at the rifle Gary used to kill himself to see if there was a link between one set of circumstances and another.

Gary's girlfriend said that link does not exist.

"He didn't do it," Sissy Sanders said.

Grimes said the rifle Gary used to kill himself was not the murder weapon. The four killed over the weekend were shot with a small-caliber gun.

There are indications Gary and Charlene had a rocky past. A personal protection order was taken out against him in 2000 after he broke her arms and several ribs, according to court papers.

Grimes said Gary did not know investigators were coming to talk to him.

"We came in cold to talk to him," Grimes said Tuesday. "He was our main suspect. We felt like he may have had something that would lead us to other things. We got here and found this."

Charlene and her son were visiting Curley and Larry after attending a wedding Saturday. She was not related to the men but lived next door to Larry in Whitakers.

Gary was Darwood's father. Gary and Charlene were separated.

Gary was involved in an ongoing dispute with Larry Lynch, who was charged with communicating threats to Gary and was due in court in January. Larry's family said that dispute could have played a part in the shootings.

Authorities were called to Curley's house Sunday after Larry's sister drove past the house at 7:30 a.m. and saw Darwood's body in the yard.

"It appeared to me that the child was trying to escape from the house," Grimes said.

The Nash General Hospital pathology department released preliminary findings that showed each victim had been shot in the head. Charlene also had been shot in the chest and beaten or struck on the back of the head.

"I'm still kind of shocked," Jackie Lynch, Larry's wife, said. "It's like a dream, you know, especially with the way it happened, with all of them shot and the little boy."

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