Putnam County, Tennessee – Sunday morning shortly before 9AM, a man entered a Putnam County church and shot a 61 year old woman in the abdomen. After the shooting, he went to the church basement, where he committed suicide.
The victim, Etta Medley, 61, is in critical condition. The investigation revealed the suspect, identified as Tommy Meadows, 64, was the victim’s brother-in-law. Law enforcement officials believe the intended target was Meadows wife, Wanda Meadows.
It is believed Wanda and Tommy had been involved in a domestic violence altercation. According to Sheriff Andrews, Wanda Meadows “injured in a physical altercation, bruising and things like that. She’s fine. She just has some bruising.”
The violent assault happened before anyone had reportedly arrived for morning services.
According to The Tennessean,
“The sheriff’s department received a 911 call at about 9:05 a.m. from the Double Springs Community Church, he said. Arriving at the small church, sheriffs’ deputies, along with members of a SWAT team, found Medley laying close to the door and immediately moved her to safety, Andrews said.
The team was alerted that the shooter was in the basement, Andrews said. ‘Within seconds, they entered the basement and found him deceased,’ Andrews said.
The church, located in an unincorporated area of the county between Baxter and Cookeville, will not open for services today, the sheriff said.
Andrews said it appeared the two sisters were working at the church when Meadows arrived.
‘I’m just glad no one else was there,’ the sheriff said.”