Sheriff: Man fatally shoots girlfriend, kills self in Church Hil - WNCN: News, Weather

Sheriff: Man fatally shoots girlfriend, kills self in Church Hill

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HAWKINS COUNTY, TN (WJHL) - Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson said Wednesday that the man who reportedly fatally shot his girlfriend and then killed himself Tuesday afternoon had an order of protection issued against him concerning contact with his grandmother.

Deputies responded to Thomas Kirk McCracken's grandmother's home on California Avenue in Church Hill Tuesday around 2:15 p.m., after learning of the shooting.

Lawson said the order was issued to protect McCracken's grandmother from him, the same grandmother he and his girlfriend, Sierra Nichole Smith, 21, and their 3-month-old child were reportedly living with in Church Hill.

According to Lawson, McCracken had violated the order of protection -- issued on April 2012 -- on several occasions.

He reportedly violated the order just three weeks after it was issued and then violated his probation on April 26.

In August, he violated the protection order again, followed by a second violation of probation.

The 3-month-old child is reportedly in the custody of the Department of Children's Services and authorities said family members of the child are working to get custody.


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Deputies in Hawkins County are investigating a double shooting that happened Tuesday afternoon around 2:15 p.m. at a home on California Avenue in Church Hill, TN.

Sheriff Ronnie Lawson says a man fatally wounded his girlfriend then turned his gun on himself. 

Deputies found Sierra Nichole Smith, 21, with a single gunshot wound to the head. Smith was taken to Wellmont Holston Valley Hospital where she later died.  Thomas Kirk McCracken, 20, was found dead with a single gunshot wound to the head.

Investigators say preliminary results reveal McCracken shot Smith, his live-in girlfriend – then turned the gun on himself.

The couple had a 3-month-old child who was at home at the time of the shooting. McCracken’s grandmother was also home.

"I've never witnessed anything like this so close to home," said Teresa Jones, a family member of McCracken, "I've been close to them and all the rest of the family so it's been hard."

Jones said there was no indication to her that McCracken was capable of the shooting.

Smith and McCracken’s bodies have been sent off for an autopsy. A motive has not been determined.

News Channel 11 is following this story. We’ll have the latest information as soon as it becomes available on WJHL.com.

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