Alleged arson leaves community in disbelief

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

It came as a shock to the Jeremiah Community along Highway 7 in Letcher County.

Monday night, police say a man set his own house on fire while his wife and child were inside, and then he fired shots at them.

No one was injured and the house is a total loss, but those who knew the family say they still cannot believe what happened.

"I really think he's had a nervous breakdown," said family friend Peggy Collins.

The melted metal and charred wood show a scene that Peggy Collins never thought she would see in the 10 years she has known Lawrence Eugene Halcomb.

"It's awful for everybody that is involved because it has destroyed her family, the baby's family and Gene's life," said Collins.

Halcomb is now in jail after police say he set his house on fire with his wife and 9-month old child inside. He also fired a shotgun in their direction.

"I love them all, and I hope that everything will work out best for everybody. And I wish I knew a solution, but I don't," said Collins.

Peggy Collins is thankful everyone made it out ok, but still wonders how something like this could happen to people she loves.

Halcomb is charged with first degree arson and six counts of wanton endangerment.

He did not want to comment from jail, and we also could not locate his wife.

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