Suspect dies in hospital

Friday, July 1, 2011

The suspect in the shooting of a Shelbyville woman late Tuesday died at Vanderbilt Wednesday night of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police sources told the Tribune.

Thomas Lamonte Williams, 39, of Lewisburg, ran away from a traffic stop in Marshall County a short time after the Shelbyville incident and shot himself while police were searching for him. The manhunt shut down Highway 31A and secondary roads in the Farmington area for a few hours Tuesday night.

"It started a week ago with the City of Lewisburg swearing out warrants on him," said Marshall County Sheriff Norman Dalton. "We (the Sheriff's Department) had a parole violation on him."

Williams was located in Shelbyville, Dalton said, and Sheriff's deputies, Lewisburg Police officers and detectives, and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents were preparing to go there and arrest him.

Then they got word that Williams had shot a woman in Shelbyville, and forced another woman at gunpoint to drive him towards Lewisburg in her car, Dalton said.

The Highway Patrol spotted them on Highway 31A near the Auction Barn, the woman pulled over, and Williams ran off into the woods, according to Dalton.

Law enforcement, including a K9 unit from Rutherford County and a seven-man Special Response Team, converged on the area, and began to search. A TBI helicopter illuminated the scene from above.

"About 10:30 or 11 we heard a single gun shot," Dalton said. "Shortly thereafter the canine found Williams sitting at the base of a tree with a single gunshot wound to the head."

Williams was transported to Vanderbilt.

His victim from Shelbyville, Cassandra Cooper, is also there. Her condition is said to be "stable," according to Dalton.

According to the report by Lewisburg Police Officer Jennifer McDonald, Williams was arrested and charged with domestic assault on June 4. He made bond, and one of his bond conditions was that he stay away from his victim, a woman he had been living with on Lunn Street.

On June 19, shortly after noon, according to McDonald's report, Williams kicked his way into the woman's house and held her and her 15-year-old daughter at gunpoint for six hours.

"He was full of anger and frustration," the victim told McDonald. Williams knew that his arrest on the domestic charge meant that he had violated his parole and would go back to prison to serve the rest of an 11-year sentence.

The victim and her daughter, and a friend who came to the house, talked to Williams, and "told him what he wanted to hear so he would let them go," according to McDonald's report, and he finally left the home about 6:30 p.m.

Even at that time he was thinking of suicide. The victim told McDonald that at one point he said "he had made up his mind he was going to die tonight."

The warrants sworn out on Williams charged him with two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of aggravated assault, aggravated burglary, carrying a weapon, and violation of bond conditions.