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Six dead after gunfire, blaze erupt where gunman's estranged wife lived, sheriff says

The dead include the suspect; his wife, who lived separately and had an order of protection against him; and her adult daughter, the sheriff of Marion County, Tennessee said.
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Six people, including three children, are dead after a shooting and house fire in Marion County, Tennessee, the local sheriff said Friday.

The suspected shooter, Gary Barnett, as well as his estranged wife, Regina Barnett, and her adult daughter, Britney Perez, were identified as the adults who perished, Marion County Sheriff Bo Burnett said in an interview with NBC affiliate WRCB of Chattanooga.

Investigators believe the mother of the children, whose exact ages were unavailable, was Perez, who was visiting, the sheriff said.

The home where police are investigating a murder-suicide in Marion County, Tenn., on June 16, 2023
Police are investigating a murder-suicide in Marion County, Tenn., on Friday.WRCB

Burnett revealed a narrative that had the suspect showing up to the residence in or near the community of Sequatchie on Thursday night and opening fire despite being the subject of an active order of protection for Regina Barnett, who lived there.

The suspect was the subject of multiple calls to authorities in the weeks and months before the shooting and fire, Burnett said, describing the calls as complaints "based on his behavior."

Ages for the deceased were unavailable.

A man, not identified, was shot three times but survived and was recovering at a hospital, the sheriff said.

The suspect may have fatally shot himself, he said. The cause of death for each of the dead will most likely be determined by state forensic pathologists or death investigators. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said the bodies have been taken to Nashville for autopsies.

Gunfire was reported to authorities at 8:46 p.m. Thursday, and when Marion County deputies arrived the structure was ablaze, Burnett said. They broke in and pulled out as many survivors out as they could, he said.

The fire roared for a few hours before it was knocked down and bodies could be counted, according to the sheriff.

The cause of the blaze was under investigation, but the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which has taken over the homicide probe, said in a statement, "The home had been set on fire."

Multiple other residents were unharmed but without shelter, Burnett said.

Sequatchie is roughly 30 miles west of Chattanooga. Marion County has a population of more than 29,000 people, according to the U.S. Census.