HCSO Chief Deputy Tony Allen tapes off the crime scene, a residence on California Avenue south of Church Hill, where a man shot his live-in girlfriend and himself Tuesday. Jeff Bobo photo.
CHURCH HILL — The Hawkins County Sheriff's Office is investigating a double shooting Tuesday afternoon at a residence near Church Hill where a man apparently shot his girlfriend, resulting in her death a short time later, and then killed himself.
At 2:20 p.m., Hawkins County Central Dispatch received a call about a double shooting at 111 California Avenue in the Goshen Valley community just south of Church Hill.
The girlfriend, Sierra Nichole Smith, 21,was transported to the Holston Valley Medical Center with a "very critical" gunshot injury.
Sheriff Ronnie Lawson issued a press release shortly after 6 p.m. stating that Smith had died at the hospital as a result of her injury.
Her boyfriend, Thomas Kirk McCracken, 20, was killed from a gunshot which was apparently self-inflicted.
Lawson said the couple lived together at McCracken's grandmother's residence, where the shooting took place.
The couple's 3-month-old child was present at the time of the shooting along with McCracken's grandmother.
Lawson said that when his deputies arrived at the residence, they found Smith suffering from a single gunshot wound to the head.
Deputies also found McCracken deceased with a single gunshot wound to his head.
"Preliminary investigation has revealed that Thomas Kirk McCracken had shot Sierra Nichole Smith, who was his live-in girlfriend, then turned the gun on himself," Lawson said. "No motive has been determined at this time."
The bodies of McCracken and Smith will be sent for an autopsy.