Thursday, September 12, 2013
Two dead in shooting at Hickory Flat
By SUE WATSON
Two families are grieving the loss of a loved one – one in Holly Springs and the other in Hickory Flat.
Benton County authorities are treating the deaths of Keria Bennett, 21, of Hickory Flat, and Samuel Raymond DeHaviland Gipson, 32, of Holly Springs, as a murder-suicide, according to chief deputy Joe Batts with the Benton County Sheriff’s Department.
Benton County coroner Shane Ward told the Daily Journal last week that Bennett was found shot in the chest inside her Benton County residence and Gipson was found with a gunshot wound to the head on the front porch of the home. A gun was found on the porch near Gipson’s body, he said.
The incident occurred Wednesday, Sept. 4, around 11:06 p.m., according to media reports, at a single-wide mobile home across the street from Burk’s Trailer Park in Hickory Flat, Batts said.
He said the ruling of murder/suicide is tentative pending the outcome of a crime lab study. Both bodies were sent to the state medical examiner’s office for autopsy following the incident.
Batts said Bennett lived with her father and step-brother. Bennett and Gipson were in the process of ending their relationship, he said. He said the incident points to the seriousness of domestic violence.
“People should be aware of the seriousness of domestic violence incidents and should make sure everyone is aware that this is something not to be ignored or taken lightly,” Batts said.
Obituaries for both Bennett and Gipson can be read on page 2 of this week’s newspaper.
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