Former marine, Jeffrey Alan Peacock, allegedly shot five people and burned down their house on Sunday morning, May 15.
Peacock was found at the scene of the fire, and at first was thought to be the sole survivor.
Peacock, 25, was arrested on Wednesday morning for the murders and arson; he is being held in Colquitt County jail.
He knew all five victims—Jonathon Edwards, age 21; Alicia Norman, age 20; Reid Williams, age 21; Jones Pidcock, age 21; and Jordan Croft, age 22.
“The victims were shot inside of their residence by Peacock, who set fire to the house in an attempt to conceal the crimes,” according to a statement from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
The motive for the murders is unknown at this time. The crime is one of southern Georgia’s worst mass killings in over a decade.
Angel Strickland was a close friend of one of the victims and organized a candle vigil for them.
“It destroys everybody. It breaks everybody’s hearts because even if you didn’t know them,” Strickland told WALB. “You can’t help but think about that this is five families having to go through this all at one time.”
One of the friends of the victims said that Peacock had been living in the house with the five friends but was kicked out a few months prior to the fire.
5 victims in fatal Colquitt Co fire: Jonathan Edwards, Alicia Norman, Jones Pidcock, Reid Williams, Jordan Croft pic.twitter.com/VlgnaiERPf
— Wright Gazaway (@wgazawayWALB) May 16, 2016
All five victims had recently graduated from Colquitt County High School and two of them were dating.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the case.