DULUTH — Atlanta personal injury attorney Thomas Westbury saw no signs of marital turmoil between his friends Charles and Sylvia Junn, a pair who had moved from California about six years ago to cofound the Junn Law Firm in Duluth.
Westbury had worked with Charles, accepting clients on a contract basis, for about six months. From what Westbury had observed, the Junns were the picture of contentment.
“They appeared to be very happily married, a good relationship,” Westbury said. “I was looking forward to a long business and social relationship” with the Duluth residents.
Westbury won’t have that chance. Gwinnett police on Wednesday said the wife’s anger over a love triangle was likely the motive for a double shooting and her suicide Tuesday night in a parking lot outside the law offices.
Police believe Sylvia, 44, shot Charles, 45, and his mistress, a 51-year-old woman who has not been identified, in the parking lot of the 3802 Satellite Blvd. office where all three worked. Sylvia was the firm’s lone attorney, specializing in immigration law, and her husband acted as firm manager, Westbury said.
Police said Sylvia confronted her husband and the other woman in the parking lot about 7:30 p.m. before shooting them both with a handgun and running over her husband in a white Lexus sedan as she sped away.
Sylvia immediately drove back to the lot and was confronted by an officer working a part-time job in the area and other police, after a witness had called 911. Police ordered Sylvia to drop the weapon, but she instead shot herself in the head, police said.
Charles died on scene. The female victim, believed to be a Gwinnett County resident, survived but was listed Wednesday in critical condition at a metro Atlanta hospital. She was identified only as an Asian female, who police initially thought was Hispanic, said Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith.
“The investigation revealed that Charles Junn and the female victim likely had an affair in the past,” Smith said.
The married couple leave behind a 16-year-old son, Smith said. Police withheld information about how many times and where the victims were physically shot.
Calls to the law firm were directed to an automated voice messaging system Wednesday. A message left by a reporter was not returned.
Westbury said Charles was a former police commissioner in his native California, overseeing hundreds of police officers. He’d paid his wife’s way through law school, and often spoke affectionately about her, said Westbury, who was representing Sylvia in a pending civil case involving $8,400 she owed Bank of America, according to court documents.
“Charles was a prince,” Westbury said. “He was just a very likable guy ... I’ve lost two good friends.”
The Junn Law Firm, founded in 2006, assisted employers and employees with obtaining work visas, and helped clients through the process of legal immigration through marriage and other family relationships, the firm’s website states.
Westbury said the Junns’ client base included many Hispanics and Koreans.
News of the shootings had left Westbury “in a state of shock,” he said Wednesday afternoon.
Homicide in Duluth
Cpl. Jake Smith speaks to the media after a woman shot two people, ran over one, then killed herself on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 in Duluth.