Owning a business is tough work. But watching it go up in smoke can be disheartening. But surveillance footage from outside of Gary Lawrence’s business in Georgia shows that the fire that burned his bar to the ground was lit by him. Not only did Gary light the Backwoods Bar and Grill in Forsyth, Georgia up like a torch, he then returned to his ex-wife’s house where he shot himself to death.
Gary’s final day of life was a violent one. Not only did he end his life with a gunshot, but he also set a raging fire that took his business down to the ground with him.
Footage from the scene of the arson shows Gary fleeing the burning building as the fire grows atop the bar’s roof. The video was filmed from a nearby building. Smoke pours from the roof and then becomes a raging blaze by the time emergency crews arrive to rescue the bar from the incident of arson.
Gary Lawrence was then believed to have shot and killed himself about two hours later after arriving at his ex-wife’s home in Macon, Georgia.
Although Gary ended up at the house of his ex-wife, he made a pitstop at his sister’s house, where he swapped vehicles. Although the end was near for him, he didn’t want police chasing him and finding him before he pulled the trigger.
In the end, the fire completely destroyed the Backwoods Bar and Grill. It was exactly what Gary had probably intended to happen.
In an effort to give the public information, the Sheriff’s office released the surveillance footage of the event that unfolded on October 1, 2019. It all begins at 4:30 pm when Gary drives his car around the bar and reenters the establishment. He exits with a bag of trash, puts it in the garbage, and then enters the bar again.
By 6 pm, smoke is billowing from the building. Then Gary Lawrence emerges from the bar and rushes to his car. He drives away amid the ample smoke.
Another car pulls into the bar’s driveway around the same time but turns around once they see the fire. Then a third building approaches from a different direction only to go in reverse away from it.
Minutes later, fire crews appear at the scene to put out the blaze before it threatens other establishments or the woods nearby. The blaze erupts into bright orange flames, and emergency crews get to work saving the building from the fire. But they’re too late. Gary made sure they’d be too late to do anything to save his bar.
It took firefighters hours to put out the fire. Nearby buildings were threatened, and the bar was completely destroyed.
Investigators do not yet know why Gary Lawrence would set his bar on fire only hours before taking his own life.
Customers of the establishment mourn the loss of both the bar and Gary. They say that when he died, they “lost a friend” and that he “will be missed.”
What do you make of this suspected arson-suicide?
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