Tragedy struck in Athens this past Saturday. UGA professor George M. Zinkhan, III (pictured at left) shot and killed three people (although, legally speaking, he remains a “suspect”) by shooting them at point-blank range at Athens’ beloved Town & Gown Theater. The shootings took place during T&G’s annual homecoming picnic. All three victims were integral members of the theater community and the Athens community at large.
A nationwide manhunt is on as we speak.
From UGA‘s homepage:
Police are still looking for George M. Zinkhan III, 57 years of age, 6-feet three-inches tall, 240 pounds, blue eyes, white male with a goatee, with light brown hair and some graying. He was last seen wearing a polo shirt and blue shorts with a backpack, and driving a 2005 reddish Jeep Liberty with Georgia tag AIX 1376. If you know his location or see him call 911. Please do not call 911 seeking information. Please do not call UGA Police asking questions. Only call to provide information that you may have regarding this matter.
Yes, this means if you see him please call your local police!
A statement released by Town & Gown reads
STATEMENT BY THE BOARD OF TOWN AND GOWN PLAYERS
The three people we lost yesterday were a part of the rich 50-year history of this theater and, more than that, were vital members of the Town and Gown family.
Ben Teague, loving husband of UGA’s Dr. Fran Teague for more than 40 years, was not only a friend but also a father figure to all at the theater. One would be hard pressed to find a Town and Gowner who had not learned at least one life lesson from this wise and kind hearted man. His wife wishes to say, “Yesterday Ben was murdered, which is hard to comprehend and impossible to accept. It was a beautiful day, however, and he was in his favorite place with the people he loved.” Ben was a translator of German, Russian and English.
Marie Bruce was the binding force that held the Town and Gown community together. Having worked with Town and Gown for over 20 years, at one time or another she served in every capacity at the theater, artistically and administratively, from leading lady to president of the board to chief cook and bottle washer. A local attorney, Marie was the mother of two young children.
A gentle presence, Tom Tanner breathed life into every corner of Town and Gown through his quiet diligence and astounding creativity – most would call him genius. Father of an equally amazing daughter, Tom would tell you that while he enjoyed his work as director of the Regional Dynamics Economic Modeling Laboratory at Clemson University, his heart lived and thrived in the theater.
Ben, Marie and Tom were a part of our family, and as painful as their loss is for us, we know it is even more painful for their families. We want to extend our deepest sympathy to their immediate family and close friends outside the theater community. There are no words we can use to adequately express our grief.
Pictured below , clockwise, are Ben, Marie and Tom. These are the members of our community that were stolen from their families. Please don’t just click past this post. Please re-read the above and if you see Zinkhan let the police know.
Gordon, you have been vigilant in posting updates about this tragedy and I for one want to say thank you for doing this
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