Suspect’s wife in 911 call: ‘My husband just shot 2 people’
A Martin County woman called 911 on her own husband, Hugh Hootman, who detectives said had just shot his downstairs neighbors, Ginger and Henry Wallace, both 81.
"My husband just shot two people and I believe he killed them," Hootman's wife said in the 911 call released Monday.
His wife told the 911 dispatcher that tensions had been rising between the couples.
"There's been an ongoing dispute," she said in the 911 call. "The neighbor downstairs, just the other day, shouted at me and swore at me regarding the washer and dryer."
Sheriff William Snyder said Ginger Wallace was the homeowners association president for their building in the Cedar Pointe community and that her husband, Henry Wallace, days before the shooting confronted the Hootmans at their upstairs apartment.
According to an arrest report, the Hootmans left a community laundry room door open and Henry Wallace cursed and yelled at Hootman's wife, making her very upset.
"The suspect's wife said that the male victim was unkind to her," Snyder said. "She wouldn't be specific. He was unkind, sounds like he might have been abrasive. But she doesn't articulate a really strong case for offensive language."
Snyder said on Saturday, the day of the shooting, Hootman confronted Henry Wallace near the mailboxes and told him to apologize to his wife for how he spoke to her.
The sheriff said Wallace ignored him and tried to walk past, prompting Hootman to reach into his pocket and pull out a handgun that he always carries and shoot Wallace twice in the chest area.
Ginger Wallace, according the arrest report, came outside screaming. Hootman shot her twice as she got closer to her husband's body.
"This whole thing is just so inexplicable — 75-year-old male, never had any confrontations with law enforcement that we know about, is so provoked by the HOA personnel, on the third time he shoots them," Snyder said.
Snyder said he does feel Ginger Wallace's role as the HOA president played a part in the shooting.
"At least the two confrontations we know about prior to the double homicide all stem from HOA rules, HOA enforcement rules, the demeanor of the female victim and her husband," Snyder said.
Hootman wrote an apology, Snyder said, while he was being interviewed by detectives, which he said could help serve as a confession.
Scripps Only Content 2022