The man was wanted in the disappearance of a missing Alabama woman. That woman was later found dead, according to officials.
The suspect, Max Zeller, 22, of Alabama, a 2009 Cherokee High School graduate and former Canton resident, shot himself at the trailer where he was staying when deputies entered the residence, said Lt. Jay Baker, spokesman for the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office.
“While deputies were searching for the missing woman, a bedroom door slammed and a gun was fired from inside the room. Deputies opened the door and discovered Zeller alone in the room with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his mouth,” Baker said.
Zeller was transported to WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta where he later died from his injuries, Baker said.
Zeller had been staying at the trailer where the shooting took place for several days, said Lt. Col. Ron Hunton, head of field investigations for the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities in Alabama told local police Zeller was the nephew of the missing woman, 54-year-old Felicia Lindsey, and the woman’s vehicle had been spotted in the area of Marietta Highway and Pine Crest Road in Holly Springs, Hunton said. She had been missing for about a week, he said.
The cause of the woman’s death has not been determined, and Hunton said an autopsy would be performed.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, along with Holly Springs police, went to the residence at Whispering Pines mobile home park about 1 a.m. Tuesday after they were notified by Sheriff’s deputies in DeKalb, Ala., authorities there were looking for the missing woman and that her vehicle had been spotted in Cherokee County, Hunton said.
“He was a suspect in her disappearance and it certainly is a possibility that he knew of that woman’s death and possible he knew he was a suspect, and it is possible that is why he shot himself,” Hunton said Tuesday.
Baker said deputies began patrolling, looking for the missing woman’s vehicle after receiving the call from authorities in Alabama.
A deputy then located the vehicle in question parked at lot #38 of the Whispering Pines mobile home park on Lakeside Drive in Canton, Baker said.
“Deputies then began to knock on the door of the mobile home. After some time passed, a resident answered the door and allowed the deputies to enter the mobile home,” Baker said.
Hunton said the other people at the residence do not appear to have any information about the missing woman.
“When deputies got there they knocked, and knocked and knocked, and then finally one person ran out the door, and another person, a female, was found inside, and then the subject shot and killed himself,” Hunton said.
Alabama authorities were notified of incident in Cherokee and hours later the missing woman was found dead at a location in Alabama, Baker said. Zeller was a suspect in their investigation, he said.
The man who ran from the house, Jason Lee Ray, was arrested on a probation violation, deputies said.
The woman at the house was questioned, but is not a suspect at this time, Hunton said.
Zeller had an active warrant for his arrest for failure to pay child support, Baker said.