Man accused of killing girlfriend, then wife hours later

One of the women's family is hoping they can learn from this tragedy

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Investigators in two metro counties are trying to figure out why a man went on a rampage and allegedly killed two women in less than two hours.

Channel 2 Gwinnett County bureau chief Tony Thomas was live near Lawrenceville on Wednesday, where one victim’s family hopes others can learn from the tragedy.

In an arrest warrant, Gwinnett police told a judge Arrief McKenzie stabbed his girlfriend, Jillian Myers Walters, multiple times with a “large knife.”

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A little over an hour later, McKenzie is accused of killing his estranged wife, Niki Banks, more than 30 miles away.

Bank’s son, Keith Martin, told Thomas he hopes the killings serve as a lesson to others.

“It's OK to open up and ask for help when needed,” Martin said.

Martin said his mother was a strong woman. He said she loved and wanted to be loved.

Newton County authorities said McKenzie killed Banks in a fight Tuesday morning.

“I knew him. That’s as much as I’ll say. I pray that he finds Christ,” Martin said.

Investigators said the motives are unclear, but just an hour before Banks’ murder, Gwinnett police got a call about a fight at an apartment complex off Herrington Road.

Authorities believe McKenzie stabbed his girlfriend, Walters, to death in her apartment.

McKenzie was later booked into the Gwinnett County Jail. At one point, while being booked, he kept looking at his hand and arm like he had some type of injury. His left hand was already bandaged.

“We do hope for a speedy trial, quick prosecution and justice to be served,” Martin said.

Authorities said McKenzie was captured when Dunwoody police pulled him over after he almost hit another car on I-285 on Tuesday morning.

McKenzie is held without bond on the Gwinnett charges and is due in court Thursday morning.