Shooting

HENRY COUNTY, TN — The Henry County Sheriff's Office says a man shot and killed his estranged wife and another woman who called 911, before having an eight hour stand off with officers and shooting himself.

The Henry County Sheriff's Office says there was an assault at the Indoor Comfort on Highway 79 North in Henry County, Tennessee. 

The deputies say their initial investigation found that the owner of the business Bobby Mercer had parked a vehicle at a hidden location then went inside the building from the rear. 

Deputies say once inside, Mercer made his way to the front and found his estranged wife, Amanda Mercer, and opened fire on her as two other employees fled on foot and escaped. 

Deputies say Mercer than came back in through the front door and shot and killed Cindy Townsend, who was on the phone with a 911 emergency dispatcher. 

Deputies say once they arrived on the scene they set up a perimeter with help from the Paris Police Department and Tennessee Highway Patrol. 

Deputies say Townsend's condition was not known when they were setting up the perimeter. 

Deputies say Sheriff Belew, THP hostage negotiator Lt. Hosek, and FBI hostage negotiators began to text message Bobby Mercer who told them that Cindy was safe inside and was unharmed. 

Deputies say there were multiple attempts during the eight hour stand off to speak to Townsend or for Mercer to show proof that she was alive to the negotiators. 

Deputies say that Mercer was unwilling to provide any proof that she was okay. 

Deputies say that negotiations were stopped by Mercer then the THP Tactical Team was called to the scene to help with tactical teams from Henry County Sheriff's Office and Paris PD. 

The team sent a camera equipped robot into the business which showed Mercer by himself trying to barricade himself inside. 

The teams then began to open the windows and sprayed tear gas into the business. Deputies say when Mercer did not come out, they used a more intrusive breach. 

Deputies say they found Mercer inside after he shot and killed himself. 

The crime scene is currently being worked on by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Task Force, and Henry County Sheriff's Office. 

The Henry County Sheriff's Office says, "This has been a tragic day in Henry County and one that will not soon be forgotten, our hearts go out to the families of the victims and they will remain in our thoughts and prayers."