Family, friends mourn loss of man murdered in workplace shooting
Keller Russell reports Video by tmj4.comvideo
MILWAUKEE- Family and friends of the man shot and killed at a Milwaukee manufacturing plant want answers.
Bobby Maholmes' backyard holds bittersweet memories of George Hites -- a man who was more than a neighbor.
"It's not going to be the same without him being here. I'm going to miss him so much," said Maholmes. "We was like family. And I loved him."
Hites was shot and killed Thursday while at work inside Trans-Coil International.
Police say this 23-year-old Thaiv Xiong -- a disgruntled employee -- pulled the trigger. Hites was his supervisor.
Hites' brother, J.R., said George has recently written Xiong up for a disciplinary problem at work.
"George was a fantastic man, he was a family man (crying). He's got two kids and six grand kids," his brother told reporters Friday.
Maholmes got to know Hites over yard work. The fence separating their yards brought the two together.
"He really motivated me to go back to school. You know, I graduated high school, he motivated me to go to college," recalled Maholmes.
He attended MATC to become an electrician, just like George.
Maholmes said his neighbor motivated him to keep moving too after his four-year-old son died.
TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Keller Russell: "Did he help save your life?"
Bobby Maholmes: "Yes, yes he did. Cause after I lost my son. He was there for me. He talked me through things."
Now that father is left wondering how someone could kill the only man he's thought of in the same role. "I never had a father and George was that person to me."
Police don't yet know what sparked Xiong to get a handgun and kill Hites.