Man indicted in 2021 killing of Ga. FF, wife

Justin and Amber Hicks were shot dead in their house, but their 2-year-old son was unharmed


Chart Riggall
Marietta Daily Journal, Ga.

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A Cobb grand jury indicted Matthew Scott Lanz on 13 charges this week in the November 2021 murder of a Cherokee County firefighter and his wife.

Lanz, 22 at the time of his arrest, is accused of killing Justin and Amber Hicks after breaking into their Acworth home near Bells Ferry Road.

The couple was found shot dead in the house, while their 2-year-old son Jacob was unharmed. Lanz was arrested in Sandy Springs after police responded to a reported burglary, and he allegedly attacked one of the officers. Lanz was shot by another officer and treated at a local hospital.

In addition to the murder charges, Lanz is accused of home invasion, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm while committing a felony, and tampering with evidence by removing shell casings from the crime scene.

He also faces child cruelty charges, as the alleged murders resulted "in the two-year-old child being alone and unsupervised for approximately twelve hours during which Jacob Hicks was unable to feed himself, change his diaper, or get the attention of his parents, causing him excessive physical and mental pain."

Lanz has been held in jail without bond since his arrest. He was charged with nearly three dozen counts in Fulton County, according to Fox 5 News, including aggravated assault and attempted murder of a police officer.

Sandy Springs police later confirmed Lanz is the younger brother of Austin William Lanz, who fatally stabbed a Pentagon police officer in August.

FBI officials said Austin Lanz got off a bus at the Pentagon Transit Center in Arlington, Virginia Aug. 3 and "immediately, without provocation, attacked Pentagon Force Protection Agency Officer George Gonzalez with a knife, severely wounding him." During the ensuing struggle, Austin Lanz "mortally wounded" Gonzalez and then shot himself with the officer's weapon, according to the FBI.

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(c)2022 Marietta Daily Journal, Ga.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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