Sheriff: Man kills himself in church basement

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COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A man killed himself in the basement of a Putnam County church on Sunday shortly after confronting his wife and sister-in-law in an apparent domestic dispute, authorities said.

Putnam County Sheriff David Andrews told The Associated Press that officials received a call around 9 a.m. about a shooting at the Double Springs Community Church, located in a rural area about five miles west of Cookeville.

Andrews said the man, 65-year-old Tommy Meadows, went to the church to confront his wife and sister-in-law. Andrews didn’t elaborate on what the dispute was about.

There was a struggle and the sister-in-law was shot. Andrews said the man then went to the basement of the church and apparently shot himself.

“Upon arrival in the basement we found a deceased man,” Andrews said. “The Sheriff’s office never fired a shot.”

Andrews said no one else was in the church. He said the women had arrived to prepare for the 10 a.m. service at the church, which he said has a small congregation of about 100 members.

Andrews said the wife, 61-year-old Wanda Meadows, was not harmed. The sister-in-law, 61-year-old Etta Medley, was being treated for a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

A spokeswoman at the Cookeville Regional Medical Center said Medley was in critical but stable condition.

Authorities said the case remains under investigation.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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