Former NASCAR driver John Wes Townley has died at the age of 31.
Townley was killed in a double shooting incident on Saturday, October 2, in the Athens Five Points area, Athens-Clarke County coroner Sonny Wilson confirmed to the Athens Banner-Herald. A 30-year-old woman was also shot.
Athens-Clarke County Police Department spokesman lieutenant Shaun Barnett told the outlet that authorities responded to a shooting on the 200 block of Morton Avenue in the Five Points neighborhood shortly before 9 p.m. He said that the woman's injuries are "serious." Townley is said to have passed away from his injuries in the hospital.
Townley is believed to have known the suspect. The suspect is a 32-year-old man who has spoken to police but there are currently no charges against him.
However, the relationship between Townley and the woman is not clear.
According to Barnett, the shooting appeared to be domestic violence-related. Barnett told the publication that the investigation is still ongoing.
The driver announced his retirement from motorsports in January 2017. He reportedly competed in more than 180 races before he stepped back from professional racing.
Townley competed for almost a decade in several NASCAR national touring series. In 2015, he won a Camping World Truck Series race in Las Vegas. He also won the Daytona International Speedway twice in the ARCA Menards Series in 2013 and 2016.
Tributes were posted online for Townley.
"Damn. Rest Easy JWT. Heartbreaking," NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace tweeted.
"I am at a loss for words..... RIP John Wes. Thinking of the entire Townley family," NASCAR driver Josh Williams wrote.
"Heartbroken for John Wes Townley’s family. Absolutely devastating. Godspeed JWT," NASCAR on Fox host Kaitlyn Vincie tweeted.
Townley's father, Tony Townley, is the co-founder of Zaxby’s restaurants.