Houston & Peach

She called 911. Then her husband picked up a gun and a deputy killed him

Woman tells neighbor the police just shot her husband four times

Tyia Clay and her best friend, Kansas Williams, were relaxing in the living room when Clay's next door neighbor started banging on the front door. She told them police had just shot her husband.
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Tyia Clay and her best friend, Kansas Williams, were relaxing in the living room when Clay's next door neighbor started banging on the front door. She told them police had just shot her husband.

A woman had planned to visit friends in Tennessee for her birthday Monday.

But her husband, 45-year-old Chris Cashell, wouldn’t let her leave the house.

To keep her there, he slashed three of her cars tires, GBI Special Agent in Charge J.T. Ricketson said.

Houston County sheriff’s deputy Johnathan Lewis arrived at the Hampton Meadows subdivision off Ga. 96 about 5:30 p.m.

Nichole Cashell had called 911 and was waiting across the street at a neighbor’s house when the deputy pulled in at the 400 block of Green Island Road.

She met Lewis outside and told him about the argument with Cashell, then the two walked together back to her house.

Chris Cashell was inside, but came outside and had a conversation with the deputy.

“The deputy said the lady needed to get back in the house and pack up her belongings (because) she was going to leave,” Ricketson said.

Lewis told the GBI he was talking with Chris Cashell while his wife was inside packing, then “he suddenly turned around and walked inside the house,” Ricketson said. “The deputy started after him. ... At some point inside the house (Cashell) turned around and had a handgun in his hand.”

Lewis shot Cashell in the chest more than once. He died there on the floor of his home.

The GBI is investigating the shooting.

Tyia Clay and her best friend, Kansas Williams, didn’t hear the gunshots from next door.

After all, it was almost the Fourth of July, and neighbors were shooting off fireworks.

They were startled by frantic beating at the front door.

It was their next door neighbor. She was screaming.

“When I opened the door, she just dropped to the ground and started telling us that the police shot her husband four times and she needs help,” Clay told The Telegraph. “She was like, ‘Can you call my sister? Can you help me? Can you help me?’ ”

The friends said they weren’t exactly sure what had happened, but upon hearing Nichole Cashell say her husband had been shot, Williams asked, “Do you want us to call the police?”

“She was like, ‘It was the police! The police shot him,’ ” Williams said.

Nichole Cashell told the friends that she’d ran out the back door of their house when her husband had followed her inside and closed the door on the deputy.

The pair of friends said they went outside to see what was happening, broadcasting the events on Facebook Live. They saw the woman’s front door was wide open and Chris Cashell’s body was on the floor inside.

GBI special agent J. T. Ricketson says woman went back inside house, deputy told him not to follow and pulled a gun.

“We seen the officers standing over the body just looking,” Williams said. “When we walked up (Lewis) was like, ‘just go, go, go!’ ”

Clay told the deputy she wanted to know if Chris Cashell was OK “because his wife is at our house crying,” she said.

The deputy told Clay that Cashell’s wife needed to come outside the house.

“I told him I was going to keep her inside my house until I figured out what was going on,” Clay said. “He was like, ‘Well, you need to tell her to come on up out of there.’ ”

Eventually, the friends said, Nichole Cashell was put in the back of a patrol car and taken down to the sheriff’s office for questioning.

“She was scared,” Williams said. “She didn’t want to go alone.”

Cashell and his wife were estranged, but living in the same house, Ricketson said.

The couple moved in recently. According to the Houston County Tax Assessor’s website, they bought the house two days before Christmas last year.

According to public records, Chris Cashell was a licensed aircraft mechanic. Neighbors said his wife is a nurse at Robins Air Force Base.

Houston County Sheriff Cullen Talton said he went out to the scene of the shooting and “called the GBI immediately.”


Laura Corley: 478-744-4334, @Lauraecor