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Wife shot man multiple times at his workplace, shot herself in murder-suicide

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A woman allegedly shot her husband multiple times at his workplace and then left him to die Sunday morning in Douglas County. Later deputies found her body inside a vehicle around the corner.

The Douglas County Coroner has identified the couple as John Malone, 48, of Austell, and Nichole Prater, 41, of Riverdale. Coroner Randy Daniel said the two were in the midst of getting a divorce.

The incident unfolded around 7:10 a.m. at J.B. Hunt Trucking on Sydney Courth in Lithia Springs, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

Someone from the trucking company called 911 to report a person had been shot and when deputies arrived they found the 48-year-old victim in the parking lot with multiple gunshot wounds, the sheriff's spokesman Lt. Glenn Daniel said. Malone, who had worked at the company for about two years, died a few minutes after deputies arrived, Daniel said.

The sheriff's department had said the two were boyfriend and girlfriend and that they had been in a relationship for about 18 months. However, Coroner Daniel said the two were actually married but were in the midst of getting a divorce. Earlier Sunday morning the two had gotten into an argument when Prater apparently followed Malone to his workplace, the coroner said.

"He got out of his car and she got out and shot him right there in the parking lot," Daniel said. "She drove about two miles, got into another parking lot and shot herself."

Malone died after being shot three to five time, Daniel said. He was pronounced dead around 8:45 a.m., the coroner said.

Witnesses at the scene told deputies the woman shot the man and then took off in a vehicle, deputies said. Deputies found the vehicle with the woman still inside, he said. She had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, Coroner Daniel said. She was pronounced dead around 9:45 a.m., he said.

Lt. Daniel said the couple had been having trouble recently, but he said he did not know what prompted the apparent murder-suicide. The bodies have been turned over to the GBI for autopsies, officials said.