- Associated Press - Monday, February 27, 2017

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Domestic violence killings in Memphis are on the rise, a trend punctuated by two apparent murder-suicides in which authorities say two men killed their wives and themselves on the same day last week.

Citing data from the Memphis Shelby County Crime Commission, The Commercial Appeal (https://memne.ws/2mmRrDg) reports that deadly domestic violence incidents claimed 26 victims last year. That’s double the 13 who were killed in 2014. Eight died in 2015.

Police say 57-year-old Thomas Swearengen fatally shot his 65-year-old wife Margaret Swearengen before killing himself on Feb. 19.

Later that day and 10 miles to the west, police say 64-year-old James Lea fatally shot himself and his 55-year-old wife Lisa Lea.

Memphis Area Women’s Council Executive Director Deborah Clubb says the high number of killings signals a domestic violence “epidemic.”

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, https://www.commercialappeal.com

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