Family At Center Of Dickson Murder-Suicide Speaks Out - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Family At Center Of Dickson Murder-Suicide Speaks Out

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by Heather Graf

DICKSON, Tenn. - The family at the center of Monday's murder-suicide at a nursing home in Dickson said they still have countless questions about how and why it all happened. 

Police said 60-year-old Gary Hotvedt showed up at Dickson Healthcare at about 2:30 p.m. on Monday, to visit his mother.  At about 3:50 p.m., investigators said he took 86-year-old Eileen Hotvedt on a walk, pulled out a .38-caliber handgun, shot her in the back, and then turned the gun on himself.

"It's all really just a big shock. We don't understand it.  We had not idea it was coming.  There was nothing," said Marty Hotvedt, who is Gary's brother, and Eileen's son.

Marty sais he spoke to his brother on Sunday night, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary.  He said they talked about the Titans' game, and Gary seemed to be in good spirits.

Then on Monday, Marty got a call from the nursing home.

"The lady at the nursing home said there'd been an incident, and then described what happened, and I just couldn't believe it.  I made her repeat it all and tell me exactly who she was talking about," he said.

Marty sais his mother lived a long, full life, but that in recent years, her mind had begun to fail her.

"We know there's Alzheimer's in the family," he said.  "The last couple of years had been hard on her."

What he didn't know, what he couldn't know, was the affect his mother's declining health had on his brother.

Police say Gary Hotvedt left a note on the scene, detailing his plan.

"I have not seen the note, but the police said something about how my brother did not want my mother to be warehoused," he said.  "And I understand exactly what he was saying."

Still, he doesn't how his brother got to this point.

"I mean I don't understand what he did, but I understand his feeling that that was what was happening to her," he said.

He said his brother worked as an attorney for the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, but lost his job back in July. Then two months later, in September, he had to put his mother in a nursing home.  Marty wonders if the combination of those two stressful events somehow pushed Gary over the edge.

"I guess he was a lot more troubled then I realized, but my sister, my wife, his wife, we didn't see it," Marty said.

Marty also said he does not think his brother and mother came up with this plan together.  He said he has to believe that Eileen Hotvedt had no idea what was about to happen, when her son took her outside for a walk.

Funeral arrangements for Gary and Eileen Hotvedt have not yet been set.


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