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‘I Lost My Temper’: Neighbor Allegedly Murdered Elderly Homeowner Association President and Her Husband After Laundry Room Dispute

Hugh Hootman

Hugh Hootman

A man at a condominium complex in Florida allegedly murdered both a homeowners association president and her husband. The arrest affidavit from the Martin County Sheriff’s Office said that a laundry room dispute escalated to deadly violence.

Defendant Hugh Hootman, 75, was arrested for two counts of murder in the first degree, deputies say. Authorities identified the victims as Ginger Wallace and Henry Wallace, both 81.

“Hootman shot and killed the couple Saturday afternoon at the Cedar Pointe Condominium Complex on East Ocean Boulevard,” deputies said. “An ongoing dispute appeared to be at the center of the killings. Hootman lived in the condominium above the Wallace’s.”

The Wallaces were retired, living at the complex, according to TC Palm.

“Ginger was the president of that HOA of that building,” Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told the outlet.

According to the arrest affidavit, deputies on Saturday got several 911 calls about the shooting.

Hootman’s wife said he shot the downstairs neighbors.

She “stated there was an ongoing dispute over the washer and dryer,” documents said.

Martin County deputies and officers with the Stuart Police Department arrived to find two people dead on the walkway outside apartment 4. Hootman, the slain couple’s upstairs neighbor, was taken into custody without incident, deputies said.

“I conducted a brief walk through of the scene and observed two elderly suspects, one male and female,” the affiant wrote. “The deceased female was lying on her right side. There was blood on the torso area of her shirt; the male subject was laying on his back with blood coming from his head and torso area. There were multiple bullet casings laying next to each of the decedents. The scene was secured until Martin County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene arrived.”

According to authorities, a detective read Hootman his Miranda rights.

“Hugh Hootman said he understood,” documents said. “Hugh Hootman went on to say several days ago the victim, Henry Wallace, came to his (Hootman’s) apartment and confronted his wife Susan Hootman. Henry Wallace was upset that the Hugh’s left the community laundry room door open. Hugh Hootman stated Henry Wallace cussed and yelled at his wife, Susan Hootman which in [turn] made her very upset.”

According to deputies, Hootman said he checked his mail on Saturday at the community mailbox. It was there that he ran into Henry Wallace. Hootman said he demanded an apology on behalf of his wife. Wallace ignored him and tried to put it past him, he allegedly said.

“Hugh Hootman stated, ‘I lost my temper’. Hugh Hootman stated he retrieved his 9mm pistol from his right pocket and charged a round into the chamber,” documents stated. “Hugh Hootman stated he then pointed the weapon at Henry Wallace with both hands and shot Henry Wallace two times in the chest area.”

Ginger Wallace exited the couple’s home “yelling and screaming,” Hootman said in documents.

“Hugh Hootman could not recall what Ginger Wallace was yelling,” documents stated. “Hugh Hootman stated Ginger Wallace did not advance towards him (Hugh Hootman). Ginger Wallace was just standing close to her husband’s body when Hugh Hootman raised his pistol again with both hands and fired two more shots at Ginger Wallace.”

Hootman allegedly said he returned to his apartment, put the gun down on a wooden stand in the living room, and told his wife to call the police.

“I just shot Henry and Ginger,” he allegedly said.

Deputies said Hootman surrendered without incident.

Another neighbor, Joanne Ryder, spoke warmly of Ginger Wallace.

“I had a lot of respect for the woman,” she told TC Palm. “She had to deal with a lot as the president. She was only doing her job, and in the short amount of time that I knew her, she was so helpful to me.”

[Mugshot via Martin County Sheriff’s Office]

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