Woman Shot and Killed by Tipton Co. Officers

Woman Shot and Killed by Tipton Co. Officers

Suicide by cop. That’s how Tipton County Sheriff Pancho Chumley is describing a deadly officer-involved shooting in Covington.
Covington, TN: Suicide by cop. That’s how Tipton County Sheriff Pancho Chumley is describing a deadly officer-involved shooting in Covington. 

Investigators say it happened around 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 3rd in a parking lot next to the Walmart at Highway 51 and Lanny Bridges Avenue.  Investigators say Nattela Blackwell aimed her gun at law enforcement, and they shot her.  She died a short time later at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Tipton.

Investigators say Blackwell tried to kill herself about two years ago. Her husband was shot while trying to disarm her. He was the one who called investigators to let them know the 64 year-old woman had left their Munford, Tennessee home armed with a handgun.

“It’s something that officers and deputies hope they never have to do. Take the life of someone else,” said Tipton County Deputy Chief Donna Turner.  Investigators say Covington Police officers spotted Blackwell in the parking lot after getting the alert she was armed and suicidal. Tipton County Deputies arrived to help. Investigators say they walked up to Blackwell and ordered her to drop her weapon. Investigators say she refused, pointed her gun at them and that’s when they shot her.  Witnesses say she’d been firing her gun in the parking lot before deputies arrived, putting other lives in danger.  “It still does not make it easier on the deputies, the officers their families and their communities,” said Chief Turner.

This is the second officer-involved shooting in about a week in Tipton County. On October 26th, deputies shot and killed Jake Murphy while investigating a possible probation violation at a home near Drummonds. Deputies say Murphy confronted them with a knife, they used a taser on him, but Murphy pulled out the probes, ran to the back of the house and returned with a gun.  “It’s overwhelming you have two major incidents that close together. In both instances, we feel that they supported the training we have given them.  We’re just fortunate that it was not any worse than it was and obviously it was a tragedy for the Blackwell family as well as for both departments that have officers involved,” said Chief Turner.

Investigators say Blackwell received a ride to the parking lot in a blue car, possibly a Dodge Neon. Investigators want to talk with the driver who picked her up. That driver is not in trouble, investigators just want to piece together what led up to this situation. Investigators also want to talk with any witnesses who recorded what happened on their cell phones.  If you know anything call the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office.

Four Tipton County deputies and one Covington Police officer are on administrative leave. That is routine in a situation like this. The TBI is heading up the investigation.
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