Authorities said the Sunday morning shooting deaths of a Thomson couple appear to be a murder-suicide.

GBI: Man kills himself after wife’s slaying prompts SWAT standoff

A Middle Georgia man at the center of a Sunday morning SWAT standoff killed his wife before taking his own life, according to the GBI.

Deputies with the McDuffie and Columbia County sheriff’s offices tried to negotiate with Jeffery Cason, 58, for more than three hours after Cason’s wife, 62-year-old Cynthia Cason, was found dead in the front yard of their Thomson home, about 30 miles west of Augusta.

Local authorities called in the state agency about 6:20 a.m. By that point, Cason was barricaded inside his garage, said Patrick Morgan, special agent in charge. Columbia County SWAT officers continued to negotiate Cason’s surrender while the GBI assisted McDuffie deputies with their investigation. 

“Preliminary investigation revealed Jeffery Cason shot and killed his wife at their residence,” Morgan said.

When SWAT entered the garage just before 10 a.m., they found Jeffrey Cason dead from a gunshot wound. Morgan said the wound was self-inflicted.

An investigation is ongoing. The motive behind Cynthia Cason’s killing is unknown.

In other news:

It happened at a gated apartment complex on Cheshire Bridge Road in Atlanta.