Community remembers couple killed in Richmond shooting


RICHMOND, Ky. (FOX 56) – Chris and Gracie Hager owned several properties in Richmond.

Tuesday, they were shot outside one of their apartment buildings on Keystone Drive.

For a lot of people in Richmond, the Shell near EKU’s campus is a stop they make in their every day routine. The Hagers owned the gas station.

People filling up at the pump told us Wednesday that the Hagers were invested in both their businesses and people. People in the community are leaving flowers by the front door of the Shell.

Many said they are stunned by what happened Tuesday.

Police say the suspect the couple’s killing, Thomas Birl, barricaded himself inside an apartment for hours. After a long stand-off, that resulted in powdered gas being used, police say Birl surrendered.

He was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Friends of the Hagers say its hard to comprehend what happened to the couple.

“They improved everything that they did work with. They made a special effort to make it better and they did that,” said neighbor and friend David Williams. “They were very successful, and they did it in a way that people liked, and it wasn’t abrasive. And help the community. They were very prominent community people.”

Several of their friends held a prayer vigil late Wednesday night. We’re told a prayer service will also be held 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Eastside Christian Church.

We’re still working to learn funeral arrangements for the couple.

Richmond police say Birl will be charged with two counts of murder, one count of first degree arson, one count of tampering with physical evidence, and one count of first degree criminal mischief.

At last check, Birl had not yet been booked in the Madison County Detention Center. Police told us they hope to have a timeline on that soon.

Right now, it’s still not clear what led up to the shooting.

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