A Georgia woman is dead after witnesses say she was fatally shot by her boyfriend, who then opened fire on responding officers before turning the gun and shooting himself.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation identified the victim in the Sunday night shooting in Monticello as 41-year-old Kira Ammons.
A childhood friend of Ammons’, Phillip Marks Sr., recalled that everyone in the small town where they grew up considered her a sister. When the friend group picked up sides for football games, she would support both teams.
“Kira being the only girl, she was the cheerleader for both sides,” Marks told Macon TV station WGXA.
The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office that responded to the shooting around 9 p.m. Sunday reported to the GBI that Ammons, of Monticello, had been shot multiple times.
Witnesses identified the suspected shooter as 38-year-old David Mathis, of Eatonton, in neighboring Putnam County, according to the GBI. The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office alerted Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills, and Putnam County deputies went to look for Mathis at his home.
“He greeted them with gunfire,” Sills said, reports The Telegraph of Macon.
Deputies did not return fire, but kept their distance with a perimeter around the Mathis residence while trying and failing to make contact with him, he said.
A relative of the suspect’s told them Mathis might be outside his mobile home, and that’s where deputies found his body laying on top of a Hi-Point .380 carbine rifle, with which he appeared to have shot himself, the sheriff said.
No officers were injured but a bullet struck a Putnam County patrol car, according to the GBI.
“They didn’t even know the car was hit until after we found [Mathis] dead,” Sills said.
The preliminary investigation showed that Mathis’ wounds were self-inflicted, while Ammons’ injuries indicated she was murdered, the GBI said in a news release.
Marks said that despite the closeness of the friends growing up, life took them in different directions and they kept up in their adult years primarily through social media.
“It makes you go back in your mind and say, I wish we had the opportunity, or (had) taken the opportunity, to come together more often,” he said.
“Lord have Mercy,” a “heartbroken” Syreeta Manning wrote on Facebook in tribute to Ammons. “Kira Ammons you didn’t deserve that, Jesus please be a fence around my sister, my Bruh, all her bros and sister and Lord please keep her babies and mother wrapped in Your arms of Love and Comfort … The whole city felt this one.”
Our prayers go out to Kira’s family. If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.