Friend of Zionsville gunman ‘shocked’ over heinous crimes


Photo of Lucius Oliver Hamilton III

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ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (Feb. 17, 2016)- Friends of Lucius Hamilton III say the crimes he committed Wednesday are completely out of character and not the person they knew and respected.
Hamilton, known by his friends as Lu, is described as a very wealthy man, but police say the double homicide he carried out at a Zionsville home was fueled by greed.

"That is not the same Lu Hamilton that presented himself for many years," said Tom Santelli, a friend of Hamilton's.

Santelli says the Hamilton he became friends with was generous, caring and an animal lover. Hamilton was even a past board member of the Humane Society of Indianapolis.

Inside Santelli's Zionsville living room, there is a painting of Hamilton on a horse.

Santelli says he became close friends with Hamilton around 2001. They were both very active with the Traders Point Hunt Club.

"He was a good guy and then something turned," said Santelli.

Santelli saw a different side of his longtime friend on Wednesday. Police say Hamilton shot and killed his niece, Katherine Giehll, and her four-year-old-son at a home in Zionsville.

"Here is a guy that was loving and caring and then goes off the deep-end," said Santelli.

"The motive for this double homicide was strictly for the financial gain from the family financial trust," said Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielson.

After an entire day of investigating, it was determined that greed was the motive being the heinous crime.

"The Hamilton family was very well off. They had very large estates in Hamilton County," said Santelli.

The motive behind the double homicide is puzzling to Santelli due to Hamilton's already established financial status.

"People do crazy things when they are financially motivated," said Santelli.

"I think there's millions of dollars involved here," said Sheriff Nielson.

In 2012, Hamilton's brother died. Santelli said around that time he noticed what he describes as a red flag.

"All the sudden he quit the club, he sold his horses and he completely dissociated himself. That was our first indication that something wasn't quite right," he said.

The details of the trust and the family dispute were not released.

Following a manhunt, Hamilton was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in an Indianapolis hotel room.

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