BLACKSHEAR, Ga. – Police in Georgia are investigating a murder-attempted suicide in Blackshear that happened in the parking lot of a Huddle House restaurant on U.S. 84.
Investigators said around 11:30 p.m. Monday, 62-year-old Robert Taylor shot and killed his 26-year-old girlfriend, Belinda Jo Bell, while she was on a break from her job at the restaurant. Bell was a mother of two young children, a 3-year-old and a 9-year-old and had only been working at the Huddle House for four days. She was working a double shift before she was shot.
"It is sad, but this is a strong community. Our people have banned together, they're doing all they can to support the family," said Chief Chris Wright of the Blackshear Police Department.
Investigators said Taylor pulled into the parking lot while Bell was on a break, and as she approached his car, things quickly turned violent.
"Right now, we suspect that he shot from his vehicle as she approached the vehicle. That's what we're leaning towards right now," said Blackshear Police Department Chief Chris Wright. "There were some witnesses that we're interviewing, but we're not really discussing what they're saying right now."
Blackshear police said minutes after the shooting, Taylor drove home and tried to kill himself by stabbing himself multiple times in the front yard of his property.
"Based on the investigation, I just believe that he decided if he couldn't have the girl, nobody could have her," Wright said.
He survived and was found by investigators shortly after witnesses at the restaurant identified Taylor as the shooter. He's now in stable condition and under guard at UF Health Jacksonville.
Investigators said Taylor and Bell had been dating for three years and had a child together. They believe Taylor was upset over the couple's recent breakup.
"She want to turn her life around and have a fresh start, and that really inspired me," said Ray Griffis, the manager of Huddle House Ray. "This young lady was looking for a new start and I wanted to give it to her."
Records show Taylor has a history of violence and drug charges.
Bell's children are now staying with family members.