ATLANTA - Atlanta police are investigating an overnight house fire that is now a murder case in northwest Atlanta. While trying to rescue one victim, firefighters discovered he had been shot several times.
Homicide detectives and crime scene investigators have a challenge finding out how a man was murdered because the scene has been charred.
"It's going to be very difficult. The house is still a hazard,” said Atlanta Fire Department Assistant Chief William Collier.
The fire department said the back bedroom of the house on Jones Avenue was fully involved when they arrived around 2:30 a.m.
Firefighters went in and rescued a man but quickly realized he'd suffered much more than smoke inhalation -- and this was more than a house fire. It was a crime scene. The man was transported to a local hospital where he later died.
The fire was apparently set to cover up what happened, according to authorities.
"It does appear that the victim sustained the injuries first, then there was a house fire,” Collier said.
Detectives are working to find out how many people lived in the house. They have talked to one person who lives at there but wasn't home at the time.
They are still trying to find one other person.
"We're not calling anyone a suspect that lives here as of yet, but we do want to talk to the other occupants of the house,” said Collier.
Investigators have identified the victim, but not have released the information. The man was in his mid 40's.
Detectives said his wounds may have come from a knife, but also may have been gunshot wounds.
The medical examiner will determine the exact cause of death.
Anyone with information on the homicide is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.