Three found dead in Tennessee barn after 10-hour standoff with police

By Calvin Palmer

Three people were found dead in a barn this morning in Tennessee after a 10-hour standoff with police.

The deaths initially appeared to be a murder-suicide, said Kristin Helm, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Hawkins County Sheriff’s Detective Randy Collier said two men and a woman were found dead with gunshot wounds inside the barn. The victims have been named as Darran Blevins, his ex-stepfather, Dennis Christian, and Christian’s live-in girlfriend, Brandy Seal.

Both Blevins and Seal were in their 20s and Christian was in his 60s. Police had been called to the residence before to settle disputes between Blevins and Christian.

Neighbor, Laura Fugate, 76, said Dennis and Holly Christian had lived at the property for years until recently. The couple was going through a divorce and Holly Christian and Blevins, her adult son, had moved out but still lived close by.

Deputies responded to a domestic call and arrived at the scene at 8:00 p.m. yesterday.

“Upon arrival deputies heard voices inside and heard several gunshots,” Collier said.

Around midnight, deputies entered the two-story barn and found the bodies of a man and woman but retreated when they heard movement in the upper level.

Collier said an unidentified man appeared at a window in the loft and fired a weapon. It was not clear whether he was shooting at someone or if he shot himself.

An armored personnel carrier was brought in to allow deputies to approach the barn safely and a robot was used to search the barn for any explosive devices.

Just before dawn, deputies went back inside the barn and discovered the body of a man in the loft.

The names of the victims have been withheld until relatives have been notified.

The barn is in an isolated area near Tennessee Valley Authority property north of the community of Mooresburg, about 50 miles northeast of Knoxville.

[Based on reports by the Associated Press and Kingsport Times News.]

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