Crime

Lake Wylie couple’s family plans funerals after mystery killings

Stunned family members began planning funerals Saturday for a Lake Wylie, S.C., couple gunned down inside their home Thursday night in a lakefront neighborhood.

Meanwhile, law enforcement authorities had no updates on the deaths of Doug and Debbie London, who were shot to death after answering a knock at the front door of the home near the end of Tioga Road, a secluded street on a Lake Wylie peninsula in York County.

“It was like some bad movie, some bad TV show – someone knocks on their door and then kills them,” said Steve Musgrove, a brother-in-law of Doug London.

The York County Sheriff’s Office did not discuss any possible links between the shooting and a Memorial Day weekend robbery and shooting at the Wholesale Mattress Warehouse store that the Londons ran on South Boulevard in Charlotte. Doug London shot and wounded one of the suspects in the May 25 robbery, police said, and three men were charged in the case.

According to Mecklenburg County jail records and the district attorney’s office, two of the three suspects remain jailed.

Neighbors mourned the deaths of Doug London, 63, an artist and golfer, and Debbie London, 61, who acquaintances and neighbors said was a caring, friendly person.

“Doug and Debbie were great people,” said Brad Harvey, whose grandparents live next to the Londons and knew the couple for more than two decades.

Trent Faris, a spokesman for the York County Sheriff’s Office, said Saturday that there were no developments to announce. On Friday, the Sheriff’s Office said investigators felt the shootings were “not a random act of violence, and there is no immediate danger to the public.”

Faris said extra patrols were added to the neighborhood in the wake of the shooting but said that was typical in such cases of violence.

Musgrove said the Londons’ family members spent Saturday “doing what families do in a situation like this – making arrangements. It’s just a little more difficult than most cases when a relative dies. We’re going through a lot of emotions.”

Family members were allowed back into the house late Friday, Musgrove said.

Property records in York County list Daniel London, the dead couple’s grown son who lived with them, as owner of the house. Relatives said Daniel London, 27, was sleeping in the house at the time of the shootings and discovered the bodies later.

Daniel London has not spoken to reporters but has been communicating via Facebook. Early Saturday, he wrote, “There is nothing positive to come from this tragedy. Let us work together to ensure that these terrible acts are not void of justice.”

In the May 25 robbery at the Wholesale Mattress Warehouse, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said one of the suspects fired two shots at Doug London, who shot the suspect in the stomach. The mattress store, on South Boulevard just south of Arrowood Road, was closed Friday but reopened Saturday.

The (Rock Hill) Herald’s Andrew Dys contributed.

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