Special photo: Richelle Gates
Henry County police are searching for a man they believe murdered his live-in girlfriend.
Fernando Alberto Scott is being sought in the murder of Richelle Gates. Police say the two were involved in a domestic dispute that ended with Gates’ death.
The deadly incident took place Tuesday, Sept. 6, around 7:30 a.m., at 136 Goldleaf Drive, in Hampton, according to police. “... Scott did shoot the victim with a black ... semi-automatic pistol, fatally wounding her,” said Henry County Police Maj. Jason Bolton. “[He] then fled the location.”
Police believe Scott, 54, left in a gray, 2009 Ford Focus, bearing Georgia license tag PD94JQ.
“The victim's [teenage] son was at the location and called 911,” said Bolton.
The murder victim, who is originally from Gay, Ga., worked as a paralegal for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.
Gates, 38, had lived in the Goldleaf subdivision with her son, Terreion, 19, and her daughter, Tani, 9, for nearly a year, according to the victim’s aunt, Mable Myree.
“It is my understanding they were arguing [Monday], and I guess it carried on over to today,” said Myree. “She was getting dressed for work when it happened, because she had to be at work around eight.
“What she said that led up to the shooting, I don’t know,” added Myree. “He shot her in the chest. Her son heard the shots and ran out of the house and called 911.”
According to Myree, Terreion (Gates’ son) waited for Scott to leave the house, then re-entered and found his mother behind a bedroom door. “He had to push the door open with her laying behind the door, to get to her,” continued Myree.
According to Rosita Miller, the victim’s cousin, Gates had just put her daughter on the school bus when she went inside, and had what police described as a “domestic dispute” with Scott. Scott moved in with Gates a month after she moved into her Hampton home, said Miller.
“They had been having some problems lately,” confirmed Miller.
“It’s just so tragic right now; it really hasn’t hit any of us. We haven’t had any closure,” Miller said. “God does things for a reason. I’m glad Terreion was here, because if he had not been here, Tani would have been the first person to find her mother.”
Scott is considered by police to be armed and dangerous, said Maj. Bolton.
Anyone with information about Fernando Alberto Scott, and his whereabouts, is asked to contact Henry County Police Detective J. Brumage, at (770) 288-8250, or (770) 957-9121, or Crime Stoppers, at (404) 577-TIPS (8477). Information about this murder case can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.