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Atlanta-area man accused of killing a couple in their home and stabbing a police officer

<i>Sandy Springs Police Department</i><br/>Matthew Lanz has been accused of stabbing a Sandy Springs police officer and killing a firefighter and his wife.
Sandy Springs Police Department
Matthew Lanz has been accused of stabbing a Sandy Springs police officer and killing a firefighter and his wife.

By Claudia Dominguez, Keith Allen and Kay Jones, CNN

An Atlanta-area man accused of stabbing a police officer during an attempted burglary last week has also been charged with murder in connection with the deaths of a firefighter and his wife, officials say.

Matthew Scott Lanz, 22, was arrested Friday in Sandy Springs, Georgia, after allegedly stabbing a police officer, who was responding to a burglary in progress, according to a news release from the Sandy Springs Police Department (SSPD.)

Officers discovered Lanz inside the residence when they arrived and a confrontation ensued, the release said. Officers unsuccessfully attempted to subdue Lanz by using a Taser on him, it said, and that’s when Lanz repeatedly stabbed one of the responding officers.

“A back-up officer who witnessed the attack, shot the suspect in an attempt to stop the stabbing. The injured Officer was rushed to a local hospital where he received treatment for his multiple wounds,” the release reads. The injured officer was later released from the hospital, according to an update tweeted by SSPD Saturday.

Lanz was also sent to an area hospital following the shooting, officials said.

Lanz had no connection to the neighborhood where the burglary took place and did not know the homeowners, police said.

According to SSPD, Lanz is the brother of Austin William Lanz, the man who the FBI said fatally stabbed a Pentagon police officer on August 3, before taking his own life with the officer’s service weapon.

Couple killed in their home

Lanz was later identified as the suspect in the murder of a husband and wife on Thursday in Acworth, where he lives, according to a press release from the Cobb County Police Department. Acworth is about 25 miles northwest of Sandy Springs.

Cobb County Police identified the victims as Timothy Justin Hicks, 31, and his wife Amber Hicks, 31. The fire department in nearby Cherokee County confirmed on its Facebook page that Hicks had been a firefighter with the department for more than six years.

The couple was found dead in their home from gunshot wounds. Cobb County police said a 2-year-old was also in the home but was unharmed. Investigators said in the release that the incident appeared to have happened overnight, but they did not give a specific timeline.

Lanz faces two counts of felony murder and multiple other charges, including home invasion, aggravated assault, weapons possession, and attempted murder in connection with the two incidents, according to SSPD. In Cobb County, the release states he is being charged with two counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, home invasion, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

CNN has reached out to Lanz’s court-appointed attorney for comment but has not heard back.

Lanz was transferred to Fulton County Jail after he was released from the hospital, both SSPD and Cobb County said in their releases. He is still in custody, according to jail records.

Court records show he made his first court appearance Friday. His next court date has not been posted yet.

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