Violent crime in the Pleasant Valley neighborhood in Little Rock is practically unheard of. But Thursday morning, neighbors woke up to crime scene tape and their beloved neighbors dead.
Neighbor Jeff Walker says, "Didn't hear anything last night or this morning."
Walker has lived next door to Armistead and Gail Freeman for seven years.
He explains, "Its kind of mind-boggling. I can't fathom why and wish I could understand why, but they were great a couple. She adored Armistead and he adored her."
Armistead, 81, reportedly called 911 around 8:00 a.m. saying there'd been a murder-suicide. Within five minutes, police arrived, but too late.
Armistead lay dead and its likely 75-year-old Gail had been dead for a while. Lt. Terry Hastings says each were shot once and were found side by side in the kitchen.
Hastings explains, "I am sure in this case there is going to be some health issues and some other things that come up as a possible motive."
Walker says Armistead was a lung cancer survivor.
He explains, "In fact, I talked to Gail a month ago and asked how he was doing and she said he was doing great and cancer was gone and everything was good."
Armistead was also well known in the community. He was former owner of the Pine Bluff Commercial newspaper. The family owned it for four generations. They sold the paper in 1986.
Walker says, "It's going to be hard to get used to and something that we will kind of be reconciling with for a while."
The couple's son owns Toy Up in West Little Rock. An employee tells Today's THV, Armistead came in the store Wednesday and seemed to be in good sprits. The employee also says the whole family was to leave next week for a vacation in Africa.
"We are definitely going to miss them," says Walker.
Police say Armistead Freeman did not leave a suicide note but did leave other items that explain a motive. However, detectives would not say what they are. Police add that it is unclear if Gail Freeman was part of her husband's plan.