Once is noteworthy. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is a trend. After violent incidents over the last few days in a Walmart parking lot in Jacksonville and a Kroger lot in DeKalb County, Georgia, today’s violent incident took place outside another Walmart, this one in Tallassee, Alabama.
Three people – two women and a man – are dead in an apparent murder-suicide in the parking lot of Tallassee Walmart on Tuesday morning.
A press release issued Tuesday afternoon by the Tallassee Police Department identified the dead as 65-year-old Harold Miller, his wife, 58-year-old Tresea Miller, and Barbara Buttles, 75.
Harold Miller was in the middle of a divorce proceeding and his wife, Tresea Miller, had obtained an order of protection against him. Somehow that official piece of paper did nothing at all to protect her when Mr. Miller decided to kill her and a friend before committing suicide.
According to court records, Fifth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Tom Young signed a protective order just hours before the shooting for Tresea Miller in what apparently was the beginning of her filing for a divorce from her husband, Harold. The couple’s Tallassee home was in Tallapoosa County. Buttles and the couple’s adult son were also included in the protective order.
Two vehicles were involved in the incident, Higgins said. Harold Miller was driving one vehicle and the women were in the other. Miller apparently rammed the women’s car with his, shot the women and then turned the gun on himself.
Once again, neither orders of protection or police officers — no matter how quickly they respond to a call — can protect people from those who are determined to do them harm.
Higgins said TPD officers responded within five minutes of receiving the call. He said the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency were assisting at the scene.
In other words, they’re investigating and cleaning up the scene. Oh, and the ATF is there, too.
The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is also involved in the investigation, looking into the gun and spent cartridges found at the scene.
Exactly why this domestic tragedy should involve the feds is anyone’s guess.
Moral of the story: you are your own first responder. This should have been a defensive gun use. But you already knew that.