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3 dead in double murder suicide in Henry County following 8-hour standoff

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Posted at 10:27 PM, Jun 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-01 23:27:37-04

PARIS, Tenn. (WTVF) — Three people died in an double murder-suicide in Henry County Monday after an eight-hour standoff, according to law enforcement officials and local radio station NWTN.

Henry County Sheriff's Office officials say Bobby Mercer, the owner of the Indoor Comfort on Highway 79, shot and killed his estranged wife, Amanda Mercer, and another employee, Cindy Townsend.

Bobby parked in a hidden area and went into the business from the back. He allegedly found Amanda and opened fire on her and two other employees. The employees were able to escape.

However officials say Bobby then went inside through the front entrance and opened fire on Townsend, one of the employees, while she was on the phone with a 9-1-1 dispatcher.

Law enforcement arrived and surrounded the business with Bobby and the others barricaded inside. The sheriff, Tennessee Highway Patrol hostage negotiator Lt. Hosek and FBI hostage negotiators began text messaging with Bobby Mercer who told them that Cindy was safe and unharmed inside.

Officials say they tried multiple other times during the eight-hour stand off to speak to Cindy or for Mercer to show proof of life to negotiators. But, he wouldn't comply.

Once negotiations ended, law enforcement teams deployed a camera equipped robot into the business, which showed Mercer by himself attempting to barricade himself in.

Law enforcement then began to breach the windows and insert tear gas into the business and then continued to "a more intrusive breach." They got inside and found Amanda and Cindy dead as well as Bobby, who suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound

The Henry County Sherrif's Office posted the following on its social media page:

"This has been a tragic day in Henry County and one that will not soon be forgotten, our hearts go out to the families of the victims and they will remain in our thoughts and prayers."

Editor's Note: Local radio station NWTN contributed to this article.