Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sheriff: Man Likely Died before Standoff; Authorities Suspect He Shot Himself after His Wife and Daughter Fled

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sheriff: Man Likely Died before Standoff; Authorities Suspect He Shot Himself after His Wife and Daughter Fled

Article excerpt

Byline: TERESA STEPZINSKI

A Brantley County man facing charges for choking his wife may have taken his own life before sheriff's deputies arrived Thursday.

Authorities surrounded the home for much of the day before finding the man dead inside.

Gordon G. Herrin, 50, died of a shotgun wound to the head inside his home on Lynn Haven Drive at Drury Lane near the Atkinson community, Brantley County Sheriff Robert Thomas said Friday.

Preliminary autopsy results showed Friday that Herrin died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, said Mike McDaniel, special agent in charge for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in Kingsland.

GBI agents are investigating the death, a common practice in cases involving law enforcement officers. No shots were fired by any officers during the incident, District Attorney Rick Currie has said.

Herrin apparently committed suicide after his wife and teenage daughter fled the home early Thursday morning, Thomas said.

"In my opinion, I believe he did it after they escaped, and before my officers arrived at the scene to arrest him," Thomas said.

Herrin's wife, Kelly, and the couple's 13-year-old daughter, whose name was withheld by authorities, weren't injured, Thomas said.

The Sheriff's Office had no record of any prior family violence complaints involving Herrin, Thomas said.

Thomas and other law enforcement officials said the preliminary investigation provided the following information about the incident:

It began with a domestic dispute between the couple Wednesday. …

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