Cobb County

Cobb County couple was shot multiple times after neighbor broke into their home, warrants reveal

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Warrants issued in the murder of a Cherokee County firefighter and his wife reveal that both were shot multiple times.

Matthew Lanz, 22, is accused of breaking into a home on Verbena Drive in Acworth some time between Nov. 17 and Nov. 18 and killing Justin and Amber Hicks. Their 2-year-old child was left unharmed.

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Channel 2 Action News has confirmed that Lanz lived next door to the couple and the two properties shared a backyard fence.


According to warrants, Lanz broke a rear window of the house to get inside.

Lanz’s motive is unclear. According to police, his older brother, Austin Lanz, had been arrested for harassing the family that owned the home before the Hicks moved in in September. Austin Lanz stabbed a Pentagon police officer to death in August and was shot and killed.

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Lanz was arrested last week after police said he stabbed a Sandy Springs police officer who responded to reports of a break-in. Lanz is being held in the Fulton County Jail for those crimes.

In Cobb County, he will be charged with two counts of felony murder, two counts of felony aggravated assault with a weapon, first-degree burglary home invasion and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

It’s unclear when he will be transferred to the Cobb County jail.

Channel 2′s Chris Jose was in Woodstock Monday, where family and friends held a private visitation for the Hicks family. Jose talked to Natalee West, who is married to a Cherokee County Fire operations chief.

“The Cherokee County Fire Department is the biggest family and has the biggest hearts you could ever imagine,” West said. “Our goal at this point is to support the family and we are there as a department to take care of Jacob.”

A GoFundMe for Jacob, the couple’s 2-year-old son, has officially exceeded their goal of $50,000.