Nearly one-third of domestic violence homicides in Davidson County don't involve romantic partner

Posted at 4:25 PM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 19:33:47-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — When you hear the phrase "domestic violence" you may think about spousal violence. But nearly one-third of domestic violence homicides in Davidson County are from other family members, not a romantic partner.

It's a heartbreaking case becoming all too common in Middle Tennessee. On Monday, police arrested 26-year-old Jerald Riggs. He is accused of shooting his own mother at an apartment complex in Mt. Juliet. Police say the 48-year-old woman was shot in the parking lot multiple times. She was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Unfortunately this kind of violence isn't uncommon. Diane Lance says Metro's Office of Family Safety examined domestic violence data in Davidson County over the last five years.

"31 percent of domestic violence homicide in Nashville aren't intimate partner its family relationships," Lance said.

She adds 79 percent of those family violence homicides were killed by firearm. If someone has grown up seeing violence, Lance says they are more likely to repeat the cycle. But she stresses, it's never too late to ask for help.

"Here at the office of family safety we can talk to you about tools, strategies to stay safe and counseling services to work through generational issues involved," Lance said.

Often times when it comes to issues within the family, people like to keep things quiet and private but remember if a family member is being abusive they're not just a threat to you but everyone in that household.

If you or a loved one needs help, just call the Tennessee Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-356-6767.

If you'd like to visit the Office of Family Safety, they are located at 610 Murfreesboro Pike in Nashville and their number is 615-880-1100.