GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Police said a man found dead outside of a burning home in Gwinnett County on Tuesday had been shot.
According to police, the body of the man was found just outside of the backdoor of the two-story home on Bradford Walk Trail in Buford. Investigators said there was at least one visible gunshot wound.
Police said a gun was found nearby.
Neighbors reportedly called 911 after hearing a loud pop and visible smoke coming from the home around 10:18 a.m. Firefighters reported seeing heavy smoke and flames when they arrived at the home.
Nearby resident David Scott did rush to the scene.
“Well, to me as a homeowner at the Christmas season, I felt bad for the people,” Mr. Scott said.
Police were initially waiting for a search warrant to enter the home, but eventually obtained consent from the victim's wife.
It's unclear what caused the fire, but firefighters are investigating the possibility the fire was deliberately set and the gunshot wound was self-inflicted. Fire investigators said the home is a total loss and the blaze heavily damaged a pickup truck parked in the garage.
The fire was so intense that authorities said it melted the exterior siding on two neighboring homes
The Gwinnett Medical examiner will conduct an autopsy Wednesday to determine the cause and manner of death.
Fire officials said although several other people live at the house, the 41-year-old victim was the only one at home at the time of the fire.