Longtime Owner of Hot Thomas Barbecue Dead
Oconee County resident Howard "Hot" Thomas apparently shot himself in Athens on Tuesday night.
A popular Oconee County barbecue restaurant owner likely committed suicide Tuesday night in Athens. Howard Thomas, owner of Hot Thomas Barbecue off Highway 15, died around 3 p.m. after shooting himself behind the Tractor Supply store on Lexington Road, according to Clarke County authorities. Thomas was 76.
Thomas who lived in Watkinsville, did not fire the gun inside of his car, and it wasn't immediately clear why he picked the supply store as a location, Capt. Clarence Holeman, commanding officer of Athens-Clarke police's Criminal Investigations Division, told the Athens Banner-Herald.
Thomas was arrested on Aug. 17 and charged with battery, obstruction and trespassing after allegedly hitting a truck driver outside of his restaurant, according to an Athens Banner-Herald story.
Thomas had owned the barbecue restaurant south of Watkinsville for years.