Who killed John Wes Townley? Ex-NASCAR driver and son of Zaxby founder shot dead
Former NASCAR driver John Wes Townley, who was also the son of Zaxby's co-founder Tony Townley, has died on Saturday, October 2, 2021. The 31-year-old Watkinsville native was reportedly killed in a "domestic violence" shooting. According to the police, around 9 pm on Saturday, an incident of double shooting was reported in the 200 block of Morton Avenue in Athens Five Points, Georgia. Townley later succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.
Another 30-year-old woman was also injured in the incident but her identity and relationship with Townley were not disclosed. She is believed to be under treatment at present as her injuries were "serious". Some are speculating that she might be Townley's estranged wife Laura Bird though no official confirmation is there. Meanwhile, Townley's tragic death was mourned by the NASCAR community on social media, including Bubba Wallace, who said, "Damn. Rest Easy JWT. Heartbreaking". "I am so shocked to hear that John Wes Townley, the man who I got his autograph at berlin 5 years ago for the ARCA race, tragically died last night from a gunshot during a home invasion. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family from this tragic event," a fan tweeted.
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I am so shocked to hear that John Wes Townley, the man who I got his autograph at berlin 5 years ago for the ARCA race, tragically died last night from a gunshot during a home invasion. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family from this tragic events ☹☹🙏🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/xldDQzwvQg— Colton Leighliter (@CLeighliter) October 3, 2021
Who killed John Wes Townley?
The prime suspect, whose identity has not been revealed, is a 32-year-old man from Dunwoody, who was reportedly well-known to both Townley and the woman. Presently, no charges have been filed against him yet, though the cops have been in touch with the man. Initial reports suggest that the incident stemmed from a domestic dispute. The house where the incident happened was inhabited by the injured woman and the 32-year-old suspect.
However, there are some unconfirmed reports that Townley had entered the house on the night of October 2, armed with an ax. He might have been shot by the Dunwoody man as an act of defense, while the woman was accidentally struck by gunfire. As of now, the police are yet to share further details of the case.
John Wes Townley happened to be one of the rising stars in NASCAR in the late 2000s. Aided by family funding, he got a full-season Xfinity Series ride at the age of 19 years. However, he failed to finish seven of his 26 starts due to crashes.