LINCOLN COUNTY, Tenn. (WHNT) - Authorities confirm a Lincoln County man shot and killed his wife and his brother-in-law before turning the gun on himself in a double murder/suicide that rocked this small community early Sunday.
Lincoln County District Attorney Robert Carter told WHNT News 19 that Jeff Faulkner fatally shot his wife and her brother before killing himself inside his home on Windwood Drive in southern Lincoln County. Carter said his information was based on what he had been told by law enforcement. The District Attorney also said the three victims had visited a bar in Fayetteville shortly before the crime. Sources familiar with the case told WHNT News 19 that the three victims were out celebrating Julaine Faulkner's 38th birthday.
Sheriff Murray Blackwelder said the double murder/suicide happened around 2 a.m. Sunday. The victims were identified as Jeff Faulkner, 50; his wife, Julaine Marie Faulkner, 38; and her brother, Ryan Dale Oetken, 33. Authorities said Oetken lived in Georgia. Investigators have not revealed a motive for the horrific crime.
Neighbors we spoke to were shaken by the double murder/suicide, with all of them saying they never saw any signs of trouble from the Faulkner home.
"Not characteristic of him [Jeff Faulkner] at all," said one woman, who did not wish to be identified. "I'm surprised, especially in light of some of the new information that's come out. That will be devastating to all of us to hear that."
Investigators say when they got there, two people met them outside the home and said a domestic argument broke out inside, followed by gun shots. The couple told investigators they heard several more shots fired after they ran from the home.
Deputies found the bodies of two white males and a white female in a bedroom. Jeff and Julaine Faulkner had a 4 year-old daughter together who was unhurt in the crime. Neighbors said the child was now in the care of relatives.
The bodies were sent to the State Medical Examiner for autopsy.