Residents remember Hickman mayor after deadly shooting - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Residents remember Hickman mayor after deadly shooting

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Mayor Charles Murphy's home Mayor Charles Murphy's home
Tommy Lattus (Source: Fulton Co. Detention Center) Tommy Lattus (Source: Fulton Co. Detention Center)
Hickman Mayor Charles Murphy (Source: Hickman Courier editor Charlotte Smith) Hickman Mayor Charles Murphy (Source: Hickman Courier editor Charlotte Smith)

HICKMAN, Ky. (KFVS/AP) - The police chief of a western Kentucky city says the mayor has been fatally shot and a man has turned himself in to police.

Hickman Police Chief Tony Grogan said the incident occurred around 1 a.m. CST Monday and took the life of Hickman Mayor Charles Murphy at Murphy's home.

Police have charged 30-year-old Tommy Lattus with murder. He is held at the Fulton County Detention Facility.

Grogan said Lattus came to the police station around 1 a.m. after the shooting and told officers he shot and killed Murphy. Chief Grogan believes Lattus went straight from the scene to the police department.

Officers found someone had forced their way into the home.

Chief Grogan said the mayor was found shot and unresponsive in his bedroom.

Police believe Lattus' motive was personal. Murphy and the suspect's mother had a relationship and Lattus "simply didn't like him."

City Manager Larry Myatt says the entire town is in shock.

"We all felt like he was a good man and did the best that he could do for the city," Myatt said. "Again, we're going to miss him."

Myatt says he got a call about 5:30 Monday morning. "I just could not believe it," he said. "It's still hard to believe."

The victim was in his second term as mayor and had served earlier terms on the city board. He was also a retired school principal and farmer.

People in the community say he was a generous man and a good mayor.

"He was my principal," said Debbie Weeks. "One time he gave me $25 out of his pocket so I could keep my lights on for my babies. He was a good man. I just can't accept he's gone."

"He was always good to you no matter who you were," said Richard Smith.

Smith also had Murphy as a principal.

"He was a man of vision," Smith said. "I still can't believe what happened. If he said he'd help you he'd help you. He helped me build my house."

"I watched his kids," said Hattie Warren. "He was always fair, and that's what I liked about him."

David Lattus is serving as mayor pro tem.  A special meeting next Monday will decide what happens next.  David Lattus and Tommy Lattus are distantly related according to city officials.

Jail records don't indicate whether Lattus has an attorney.  He will be arraigned Tuesday morning on murder charges.

Visitation and funeral services have been finalized for Mayor Charles Murphy.

Beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday, visitation will be held at West Baptist Church in Hickman.

Funeral services will take place at 11 a.m. Friday at West Baptist Church in Hickman.

The public is welcome.

Copyright 2012 by KFVS. All Rights Reserved.  The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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