STUART — Cedar Pointe condominium resident Hugh Hootman told investigators that on Saturday he went to check his mail and encountered Henry Wallace.
Hootman, 75, told Wallace, also a Cedar Pointe resident, “he needed to apologize to his (Hootman’s) wife … for cussing and yelling at her,” an affidavit states.
Hootman said Wallace, 81, ignored him, and tried to push past.
“I lost my temper,” Hootman said.
Hootman pulled a 9mm pistol from his right pocket, shooting Wallace twice in the chest from 3 to 4 feet away.
Wallace’s wife, Ginger Wallace, also 81, exited the Wallace home. She began to yell and scream and stood close to her husband’s body.
Hootman fired twice at Ginger Wallace, who collapsed, from a distance of 5 to 6 feet.
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The account stems from what Hootman told deputies of the two shootings that happened Saturday at the Cedar Pointe community on Southeast Ocean Boulevard just west of the Evans Crary Bridge.
The narrative provided by Hootman was detailed in his arrest affidavit, released Monday, on two counts of first-degree premeditated murder.
Martin County Sheriff’s officials were called about 3:19 p.m. regarding the gunfire. Deputies and Stuart police reported finding two bodies on a walkway, a number of cartridge casings next to them.
Hootman’s wife reported her husband “shot the neighbors downstairs,” the affidavit states.
She noted “an ongoing dispute over the washer and dryer.”
Hootman told deputies that several days earlier Henry Wallace came to his apartment and confronted his wife. Henry Wallace was upset about a community laundry room door that was left open.
Henry Wallace, Hootman reported, “cussed and yelled at his wife … which in return made her very upset.”
Hootman said that on Saturday, when he went to check his mail at the community mailbox, Henry Wallace was there and the gunfire occurred.
After the shooting, Hootman walked back upstairs to his home, and put the pistol on a stand in the living room, he said.
“Hugh Hootman stated to his wife, ‘call the police, I just shot Henry and Ginger,’” the affidavit states.
Hootman has a concealed carry permit and typically carries his 9mm handgun for protection, according to arrest reports.
He said he was, “so sorry, wish I could take it back.” He also wrote an apology letter.
Hootman repeated how upset he was that Henry Wallace yelled at his wife and wouldn’t apologize.
Committed to community
Neighbors on Monday remembered the commitment the Wallaces had for their community. Ginger Wallace was described as president of a condominium association in Cedar Pointe.
Donna Ruhle, 70, who lived in the building across the street from the Wallaces, said she knew the couple since 2016.
Ginger Wallace loved to dance and play cards.
Ruhle said Ginger Wallace was committed to playing cards frequently with residents of the community. They’d play spinoff games of Rummy.
“It’s very laid back games. Two games that we play and we can talk and the whole thing is (a) social thing, just getting out of the house and being with people,” Ruhle said. “And that’s what it’s all about here, everybody helps everybody.”
Ginger Wallace liked to involve people and bring folks together, and she was full of energy around everybody.
“Every time we have a gathering and there’s music, she’ll dance the whole night. She would not stop,” Ruhle said. “81 years old. She had more energy than me. She was the Energizer bunny. She loved to dance.”
Ginger Wallace was planning to go dance in front of a live band, her neighbor said.
“She never made it,” Ruhle said.
Ginger Wallace left a positive impression on Marguerite Krute, a local real estate broker, who described her as wonderful and gracious.
“I had a tenant coming into Cedar Pointe condos,” Krute said. “Mrs. Wallace did everything she could, went through hoops to help me get the paperwork for the tenant.”
Krute said she couldn’t believe “something so horrible” could befall the Wallaces.
Her encounter with Ginger Wallace happened last month on a Sunday.
Ginger Wallace, Krute said, did not hesitate to help, and made things happen.
“I just couldn’t believe her generosity,” she said. “I’m so upset about it.”
Diana Boze, 74, who lives in the same building as the Wallaces said they were nice to neighbors and would help fix things at a moment’s notice.
Ginger Wallace did some of the maintenance herself.
Boze said once she couldn’t figure out where a bothersome alarm noise in her apartment was coming from, and Ginger Wallace fixed the issue herself.
She determined it was an issue with the air conditioner.
“She says I know ‘what it is.’ She came in. She took our panel off of the AC … She said ‘the battery is all wet, you have to take it off and dry it,’ ” Boze said. “… I apologized. I said ‘I’m so sorry to bother you on a Sunday.’ She goes ‘no, that’s what we’re here for, anyway we can help.'”
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No one appeared to be at the Wallace residence Monday morning. Pots of flowers and notes for the Wallaces laid outside the residence.
Sheriff’s investigators were outside the Wallace residence where the shooting took place examining the scene.
They declined to comment about the case.