COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A Columbus grandmother was the first murder victim of 2022.

Barbara Luke was shot to death inside her SUV Sunday afternoon in East Columbus.

The police are not saying much as the investigation continues. Luke’s family has declined comment.

Here’s what we know.

— Luke was driving along 5500 block of Delray Drive, not far from Forrest Road at about 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

— A gunshot went through the vehicle’s door and struck her in the side.

— Her SUV crashed into a tree. That is where the police found her after shots fired call. And that’s where coroner Buddy Bryan pronounced her dead at 2:45 p.m.

“She was a 71-year-old grandmother,” Bryan said. “I mean she lived a block away. And was probably just headed to the store or whatever. Just an innocent victim. That is the worst part about it. Just an innocent victim gun downed on the streets.”

In 2021, there were 70 homicides — 63 of which police say were murders. 34 of those murder cases have been solved.

Anyone with any information concerning this case is encouraged to contact Detective Sherman Hayes at (706) 225-4268 or email him at

If you would like to remain anonymous, call 706-653-3188