Crowd of onlookers witness fatal shooting of Covington woman - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Crowd of onlookers witness fatal shooting of Covington woman

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COVINGTON, TN -

(WMC-TV) - In front of a crowd of people, Covington police and Tipton County deputies fatally shot a woman armed with a gun.

Investigators said early this morning, Nattela Ruth Blackwell, 64, was walking around the around the parking lot of a Covington Wal-Mart randomly shooting at vehicles. Blackwell even shot at an 18-wheeler nearby.

Sheriff J.T. Chumley continued to describe how, after confronting her, she did not put her gun down.

"They were shooting in the area and the person who approached the officers wouldn't put the gun down. Officers had to shoot the suspect," stated Chumley.

Video showed Blackwell holding the handgun in her right hand, at her side. Just before the officers and deputies fired, she turned around and raised her arms. However, the gun was still in her hand.

Officials said the woman died at Baptist Memorial Hospital.

Tipton County Sheriff J.T. Chumley told how officers and deputies did what they are trained to do.

"I hate that it comes to things like this. But, when it does, I'm glad my officers are okay," continued Chumley.

A Covington resident, Kimberly Garnsey, is glad to be safe.

"It's scary. I'm glad I wasn't in the middle of this when it all went down," declared Garnsey.

Garnsey was shopping nearby when the shooting happened.

"This was justifiable for the simple fact that she was dangerous to society. She was out here on Highway 51 chasing cars, trying to get cars to hit her, and then they wouldn't hit her. Then she turns around and starts shooting," said Garnsey.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is heading up this investigation. They said preliminary reports indicated Blackwell got a ride from her home to the Wal-Mart parking lot. Officials made clear they believe the car was a blue, possible a Dodge Neon. They say there were several people in the area at the time of the incident.

If you have any information that may help with the investigation, you are asked to call the Criminal Investigations Division at 901-475-3300.

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