A Florida man who allegedly killed his roommate during an argument over a pork chop marks the second time meat may have been the motive for murder in the last three months in the United States.
Thomas Hahn, 55, of Holly Hill, Fla., allegedly got into an argument with 35-year-old roommate Robert Eugene Gray, Jr. over how to prepare pork chops and then shot him three times with a rifle, police told the Orlando Sentinel.
Gray’s murder over a pork chop comes a little more than three months after a St. Louis-area man allegedly killed his uncle over an argument over pork steaks.
According to police, 43-year-old John Cunningham of Jennings, Mo., fatally shot his uncle, Lessie Lowe, following a fight over pork steaks, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported back in September.
Cunningham and his 44-year-old uncle were arguing over whether the meat they were about to cook were pork chops or pork steaks.
“Cunningham said they were pork steaks, police said. Lowe disagreed,” the paper reported.
The argument over the pork chops/pork steaks got so heated that the men had to be separated by someone in the Jennings home.
That’s when police said Cunningham went to retrieve a shotgun and shot Lowe, according to the Post-Dispatch.
Three months later, a Florida man was killed over meat.
Hahn and Gray were roommates with two others, who were both at the Holly Hill home at the time of the shooting.
The dispute began when Gray came home drunk. The men then got into an argument over how to prepare pork chops when Hahn went to his bedroom, retrieved a rifle and pumped at least three bullets into Gray, killing him, WFTV reported.
One of the other roommates called 911 and told a dispatcher that Gray was shot in the head. Police responded to the home around 10:27 p.m. Tuesday, WFTV reported.
Hahn was sitting in a chair near the dead body when police arrived.
Neighbor Cheryl Seltzer said she and other neighbors believed something would happen to Gray.
"Frankly, I was expecting something like that to happen with all of the people he had going in and out of his house for the last few years or longer. We always suspected that it would be him who got killed," she told the Florida station.
There has been bad blood between the two roommates, with Hahn allegedly telling his roommates that he would kill Gray that he would shoot him that night if the 35-year-old returned to the home drunk.
The roommates told police that as Hahn loaded three bullets into his rifle, he said, “that should be enough.”
Hahn allegedly told police that he shot Gray in self-defense, although the roommates told authorities there were no threats against the 55-year-old roommate.
"This appears to be a senseless act of violence stemming from a minor domestic dispute between roommates," Holly Hill Police Chief Mark Barker told the Sentinel. "There is no clear answer at this hour as to why Hahn acted with such extreme violence."
Hahn is sitting in the Volusia County Branch Jail on second-degree murder charges after being remanded without bail, according to WFTV.
Police said alcohol played a role in the shooting, WESH reported.