His friends and family say James Fayard was the kind of man who was compelled to help others, especially those in distress. That admirable quality cost him his life.
Robert Lanham, armed with a gun on Wednesday, walked into Regions Bank in McComb where his ex-wife worked. Lanham fatally shot Fayard and bank manager Ronnie Larrimore, then took his ex-wife hostage and fled in a truck, McComb Police Chief Billie Hughes said.
Lanham and his ex-wife, Rachel J. Lanham, were later found dead. Fayard had stepped in to help Rachel Lanham, police said.
"He would help anybody who needed it," Fayard's mother, Geneva McGehee Lamana, told the McComb Enterprise-Journal. "If anybody needed a ride to go to the doctor, he would take them - to Hattiesburg, wherever they needed to go."
Lamana said her son served in the Army and the Navy, and later worked offshore for Shell Oil before retiring with a disability. Larrimore, the bank manager, is being remembered as devoted
38-year-old father with a dry wit and a constant smile. Larrimore, who lived in Tylertown, leaves behind two young sons.
"Great Dad. Real active. An upstanding guy in the community,"
said his friend Heather Lamb. "An overall great guy, and those are hard to come by."
The Lanhams married in 1999 and divorced in August 2007, citing irreconcilable differences, according to Amite County Chancery Court records.
Rachel Lanham, who worked at the bank as a financial adviser, and Larrimore were reportedly dating, according to the Enterprise-Journal.
While police were at the bank, Hughes said, officers received a call that Rachel Lanham's body had been found along Highway 51 near Fernwood, about four miles south of McComb.
Pike County Coroner Percy Pittman believes she may have been trying to get out of the car and was ejected when it hit a tree.
Robert Lanham was found a little while later at the scene of a one-car crash.
He "apparently had shot himself while going down the street," Hughes said.
Hughes said a handgun was found with the man's body.