Fayette County


Deadly shooting ruled murder-suicide

Update: A man and a woman involved in a deadly altercation have been identified.

Ana-Leydi-Leyva Valencia, 23, was discovered deceased upon arrival. Humberto Riveria Benitez, 38, was found in critical condition. He died Friday morning.

According to Fayette County Sheriff Barry Babb, the incident has been ruled a murder-suicide. Benitez shot Valencia, who was believed to be his wife, and then turned the gun on himself.

As for the four-year-old child who was asleep in the house at the time of the shooting, Babb said investigators have made contact with family in California and were planning to meet with them. Since Tuesday, the child was in Division of Family and Children Services.

A woman died Tuesday morning from a gunshot wound and a man is in critical condition following a dispute on the 200 block of Tyrone Road in Fayette County.

Shortly after 8 a.m., a 911 call was made that there was a fight in progress at the location. Upon arrival, the woman was found deceased from an apparent gunshot wound. The man also had been shot and was immediately transported to Piedmont Fayette Hospital. He has since been airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital, according to Sheriff Barry Babb.

A four-year-old child was found in the residence asleep in a back bedroom. The child was unharmed and has been placed into protective custody.

The man and the woman were believed to be a couple and the child was theirs. Babb said it was a “domestic incident” and there were only two people involved in the fight.

The property where the attack occurred was being leased. Babb said it is uncertain who the property belongs to.

In front of the residence, there is a sign that reads “Smiles Tree Service.”

“Apparently there is some type of tree business that operates out of there,” Babb said. “We’re not sure at this point who all is involved in that.”

The motive of the shooting is unclear and it is still under investigation. We will update this story as we learn more.

By Justin Fedich

Justin Fedich is a reporter for the Fayette County News. He has been a reporter for various papers around the Southeast, including the Athens Banner-Herald and the Selma Times-Journal. Justin is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in digital and broadcast journalism and a sports media certificate.