SUWANEE -- Suwanee police say Kenneth Michael Turner hardly batted an eye between the time he kicked in an apartment door and executed his estranged girlfriend and her roommate Tuesday night, marking the city's first double homicide in at least 45 years.
The body count climbed to three when Turner turned the .40 caliber handgun on himself. The domestic incident was the second reported at apartment 825 since last week, police said.
Police responded to a report of shots fired about 8:25 p.m. at the AMLI at McGinnis Ferry apartments, a leafy, gated complex in the 4000 block of its namesake road. Witnesses reported hearing three or four shots in rapid succession, police said.
Inside the apartment, police found the bodies of Turner, 40, of Lawrenceville, his estranged girlfriend Tiffany Hulsey, 24, and a Dacula woman police believe was staying at the apartment, Deanna Griffin, 36.
Evidence collected at the scene suggests Turner kicked in the door and immediately opened fire on the women before turning the gun on himself. The bodies were found in close proximity to each other in a living room, said Suwanee police spokesman Capt. Clyde Byers.
"I think when (Turner) showed up, he just went straight in" and opened fire, Byers said. "There wasn't any arguing or anything."
Byers said the handgun was recovered under Turner's body and no other weapons were found.
Three children were in the apartment at the time, including Hulsey's daughter (age 7), Griffin's daughter (5) and an infant (18 months) belonging to Hulsey and Turner, police said. No child was injured, and all remain in the custody of relatives, police said.
"A neighbor heard the commotion and went in and grabbed the children," Byers said. "The two little girls witnessed the shootings."
Byers said Hulsey made a domestic violence report with Suwanee police at the apartment Friday, after Turner reportedly had called and threatened her. Police were unable to prosecute because Hulsey couldn't corroborate her statements with evidence of the threats, such as a text message or voice mail.
"You can't prosecute on the victim's statement alone," Byers said. "We provided her numbers to call" along with instructions to file for a temporary protective order, he said.
A Gwinnett County Magistrate Court representative said that paperwork was never filed.
Court records show Turner had previous run-ins with Gwinnett law enforcement.
He pleaded guilty to a count of simple battery in 2004 and was ordered to 12 months probation. Criminal trespass charges brought against him in 2006 were later dismissed.
Homicides are rare in Suwanee. Prior to a fatal stabbing at a Wal-Mart parking lot in February, the last known murder within city limits happened in 1965.
Suwanee police investigated the killing of a woman dumped behind a motel in 2007, but evidence suggests the murder happened elsewhere, Byers said. An Illinois truck driver admitted to that slaying, along with murders in five other states.
Duluth police loaned a crime scene unit to process Tuesday's scene, alongside investigators from the Gwinnett District Attorney's Office.
"Our detectives are trained to process their own crime scene, but when we have something as intricate as a murder scene ... you kind of want to specialize out each function," Byers said.
Police continued to conduct interviews Wednesday and establish a timeline for each person involved. Turner's exact motive was unknown.
Reached at home in Dacula on Wednesday afternoon, a family member of Griffin's declined comment.