PARIS, TN (WSMV) - A business owner has been identified as the man behind a double-murder suicide in Henry County.
The sheriff's office says Bobby Mercer, the owner of Indoor Comfort Heating & Cooling on Highway 79 in Springville, went inside his business and shot and killed his estranged wife Amanda Mercer on Monday.
Mercer then reportedly shot Cindy Townsend, who was on the phone with 911. Authorities say two employees were able to escape during the shooting.
THP and FBI hostage negotiators began texting Mercer after a perimeter was set around the business. When asked about Townsend, Mercer said she was safe inside and unharmed, but never showed proof of her condition.
The standoff lasted eight hours. A camera equipped robot deployed into the business and officials saw Mercer alone, trying to barricade himself in.
Crews got inside through the windows and set off tear gas. Mercer was found with a fatal self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The sheriff's office released the following statement to the victims' families:
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.
The crime scene is still under investigation.