Tenita Shoats told the police that she and her husband had been fussing for two days, and that he had beaten her.
Then on Sunday evening just before 6 p.m. at their apartment on Hidden Lakes Court in Macon, they argued some more.
Shoats, 45, said a friend of hers had dropped by with some cheese that Shoats used to cook dinner with.
A version of what may have happened next is mentioned in a Bibb County sheriff’s report of the Shoats’ clash that escalated into the city’s first homicide of 2017, an account of which was made public Tuesday.
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In the report, Vernon Shoats Sr., 43, Tenita’s husband, is said to have begun quarreling with her about having the friend over, and how “she needed to ask him first” before inviting guests.
Tenita Shoats finished preparing dinner. She asked her husband, who she has since said suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, if he was hungry.
No, he told her.
So she put away the food and “went into a bedroom to relax,” the report went on, adding:
“She stated he was on the phone with someone when she was in the bedroom. She stated she came out (of) the bedroom and was walking to the kitchen to get some water and noticed he had his gun in his hand. She stated they started arguing and started pushing each other. ... She asked him if he had taken his PTSD medication today and was told no.”
Tenita Shoats said that at some point her husband accidentally stepped on their dog and when he did she snatched her husband’s semi-automatic handgun from his hands.
She told investigators that she “told him to stop coming at her,” and that when he apparently didn’t she “pulled the trigger like he had showed her,” the report noted. “She stated she kept pulling the trigger and (was) not sure how many shots she fired.”
She said she tried to wake her husband, who was by then lying on the floor. When he didn’t come to, she said she put down the gun and ran to a neighbor’s place for help.
Tenita Shoats has since been jailed and charged with murder. Authorities have not publicly addressed the validity of her apparent claims of self-defense.
The arrest warrant obtained by The Telegraph states Shoats shot her husband twice and “the evidence and information about this incident does not show justification for the shooting.”
According to a gofundme campaign for funeral expenses, Vernon Shoats served in the U.S. Army for 23 years in places like Kuwait, Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq.
He leaves behind six children between the ages of 17 and 28 and seven grandchildren, according to the post.