A 75-year old man is in custody after allegedly murdering his neighbors in a Florida retirement community during a dispute over laundry Saturday.
Henry Wallace, 81, was upset that the laundry room door was left open and took his frustrations out on Susan Hootman, his upstairs neighbor, according to WPBF News. “The neighbor downstairs just the other day shouted at me and swore at me regarding the washer and dryer,” Susan Hootman is heard saying on a 911 dispatch call.
Upset that Wallace had swore at his wife, Hugh Hootman approached Henry Wallace as he was getting his mail, demanding that he apologize, WPBF reported. When Wallace tried to push past Hootman without apologizing, Hootman pulled out his gun and shot Wallace twice in the chest, according to Local 10 News.
Hootman then turned his gun on Ginger Wallace, Henry’s wife, who had come to see what the commotion was about, the outlet reported.
“I lost my temper,” Wallace told police according to Local 10.
NOW- Detectives are back on scene where 75 year old Hugh Hootman fatally shot his 81-year old neighbors. Police say Hootman told his wife “Call the police – I just shot Henry and Ginger.” @WPBF25News #stuart #florida pic.twitter.com/5Egyd9smFp
— Terri Parker (@wpbf_terri) December 5, 2022
Hootman went upstairs to tell his wife what he had “shot Henry and Ginger” and asked her to call the police, who arrived to find him sitting silently in his recliner in apparent shock over what he had done, WPBF reported.
The horrifying incident was witnessed by a mailman who, according to neighbor Raymond Boze, also alerted the authorities.”His body was lying right here, and she was lying there like a baby, curled up, and [the mailman] was standing there, and I said, ‘Are you calling 911?’ and he said, ‘Yeah,’” Boze told WPBF News.
When authorities arrived to arrest Hootman, officials state that he apologized for what he had done. “So sorry. I wish I could take it back,” he reportedly told them, according to WPBF.
Neighbors who witnessed the shooting have been traumatized by the event. “I heard [Ginger Wallace] yell, ‘Oh, no, no.’ And then she screamed, and then she was silent. That’ll stay with me all my days,” neighbor Kathy Barger recalled, per WPBF.