Family member finds woman dead inside Murfreesboro apartment

Eva Silver’s aunt describes what she saw when she entered the apartment.
A homicide in Murfreesboro is connected to a Hendersonville stand-off that ended in death Tuesday evening
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 7:30 PM CDT

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WSMV) - Murfreesboro Police said a family member found the body of a woman shot to death on Tuesday morning inside a Fortress Boulevard apartment.

Tiffany Douglas was supposed to meet her niece Eva Silver on Tuesday, but she never showed up.

Douglas walked to her niece’s apartment and found her door was cracked.

“When I pushed it open, she was laying in front of the door,” Douglas said. “She was gone. It was just a terrible situation. Eva was a beautiful soul, she was.”

It’s a moment Douglas said she would never forget.

“I was supposed to meet her, and she never showed up. I went by her place and that’s where I found her,” Douglas said.

Police said Silver’s death is connected to a stand-off in Hendersonville that ended in the death of her former boyfriend.

Neighbors said they her some arguing early Monday morning, minutes before Willy Watkins heard something else.

“I just heard a big boom, and I had no idea it was a gunshot. I just thought, ‘What was that?’” Watkins said.

Watkins said he went back to bed, but when he woke up Murfreesboro Police officers were all over the apartment parking lot.

“I wasn’t expecting anything like that honestly,” Watkins said.

Police say 28-year-old ex-boyfriend Tyler Gardner shot and killed Silver, 30, inside of her Murfreesboro apartment,

“She did not deserve to die that way,” Douglas said.

Police said Gardner then drove to his parents’ house in Hendersonville and threatened to kill himself.

“She had broken up with him a couple weeks before this,” Douglas said.

Hendersonville Police said after an hours-long standoff Gardner killed himself.

“I just pray for him, and I pray for his family because they have lost somebody too,” Douglas said.

Although Douglas said she’ll never understand why Gardner did what he did, she knows her niece would want her to forgive him.

“I felt like she was my own sometimes because she was just a loving niece and I’ll never forget her,” Douglas said.

While police continue their investigate, neighbors said they’re praying for the family now grieving.