Man kills woman, not himself - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Man kills woman, not himself

August 30, 2007

Tift County -- A Tift County woman was shot and killed in an apparent murder/attempted suicide.

Sixty-five-year old Margie K. Richie was gunned down at her home on Riverview Way Thursday morning, just hours after Tift County deputies were at her house on a domestic violence call.

The man who Richie called them about, 74-year-old James Curtis Shepherd, was not at the scene when police arrived.

"We responded to a call at that residence about 10:30PM, and at that point we determined there had been no criminal offense," said Chief Deputy Jason Jones.

Eight hours after deputies left the house, Shepherd, shot and killed Richie and then shot himself. He's still alive and in the hospital.

Riverview Way is typically quiet, but last night around 11:30 neighbors say that silence was broken.

"My 14-year-old, he was the one who told me heard a lot of doors closing and we opened the door and saw everybody out there we didn't know what was going on," Francis Roma said.

We now know it was Tift County Sheriff's investigators responding to a call for help in a domestic violence case.

"I just saw a bunch of flashlights and I heard them knocking on the little shed back there, the little barn, and I just heard them say it was the Sheriff's Department and to open the door, and no body opened," said Roma.

The shed is where James Shepherd had been staying after a split between the two. "I don't now if they were hitting on the door, and they knocked the door or the knob, they opened it, they looked inside, they were inside and they checked a vehicle that was parked there, and I figured they were looking for somebody."

It was around 7:30 that investigators say Shepherd shot Margie Richie. Richie died before an ambulance arrived. Shepherd then fired one bullet into his own head. He was rushed to Tift Regional Hospital, and transferred to Thomasville Archbold Memorial Hospital. 

"Kind of sad, kind of sad that this is happening so close to my house," Roma said.

It's left neighbors wondering what happened to turn what they describe as a quiet couple that kept to themselves into a deadly domestic situation.

James Shepherd remains at Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville. He's listed in critical condition.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=MurderSuicide-Tift-JE

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