wjxt logo

Convicted abuser accused of killing 2 babies, grandfather, self

4 dead, babies' mother remains in critical condition after Friday's shooting

Photo does not have a caption

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The man accused of killing a man and twin 5-month-old girls, critically injuring the babies' mother, then turning the gun on himself Friday afternoon had a history of domestic violence.

Police were called about 4 p.m. Friday and said they found bodies throughout the home on Shirley Oaks Drive in Oceanway. On Saturday, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office identified those killed as twin babies Hayden and Kayden Hiatt, 49-year-old Travis James Hiatt (pictured below), and the gunman, 28-year-old Gawain Rushane Wilson. 

Megan Hiatt, 22, remains at UF Health Jacksonville with gunshot wounds.

Go Fund Me account for Megan Hiatt

"It appears this maybe spawned from a domestic issue where someone was moving out of the house or something to that effect. It's stemming from some type of domestic issue," JSO Director Mike Bruno said.

Traci Bunkley worked with James Hiatt (pictured below with twins) at the church they attended on Fort Caroline Road. She said he was helping his daughter move out Friday when the shooting happened. 

James Hiatt and twins

"Jimmy was the kind of guy who was always giving service. He would give the shoes off his feet, his last dollar out of his wallet if somebody needed some help," Bunkley said. "Somebody saw them moving their things and called (Wilson) at work and told him that she was moving out. He came home earlier than they expected. That's as much as we know at this time."

Neighbors said Wilson had recently moved into the home with Hiatt and the girls and a vehicle in the driveway had belongings in boxes loaded inside.

News4Jax learned Wilson (pictured below) has a criminal history of domestic violence.

He pleaded no contest to domestic battery charges in 2013 and was sentenced to one year of probation and was ordered to take a batterer's intervention program. The victim in that case said Wilson choked her and threw her on a bed.

Last year, Wilson was accused of domestic violence in another incident with a different woman. He was served with a domestic violence injunction ordering him to keep away from that victim. 

Ellen Siler is the CEO of Jacksonville's Hubbard House, a shelter and resource center for those experiencing violence at home, and said that spotting the signs of abuse as early as possible is critical to helping those in need.

"Every time we have deaths related to domestic violence it saddens me so much. I can't help but wish there was something we could've done or that we would've known or that the person would've reached out for help," Siler said. "All of us, when we're hearing violence happening, when we're seeing violence, all of us, need to call the police. All of us need to take this seriously. Our actions might save a life."

Wilson was stationed at Naval Station Mayport at the time of the 2013 arrest. He was transferred to the Fleet Readiness Center at NAS Jacksonville in January 2015, where he was an aviation machinist's mate.

Neighbor Dustin Fender said he didn't know the family involved in the shooting, but said that it's a sad reminder that things like this can happen in any neighborhood.

"It's surprising for sure. It's not something I expected to come home to and it's tragic, but tragedies happen everywhere. We have a great neighborhood and it's unfortunate to have this happen," Fender said. "Nobody wants to realize that something can happen that close to your home. I mean we have young kids. But it happens everywhere and you just try to protect yourself the best you can."