published Monday, September 23rd, 2013

East Tennessee mother, daughter dead in apparent murder-suicide

MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn. — Officials say an East Tennessee mother has apparently killed her 6-year-old daughter and herself.

Johnson County Sheriff Michael Reese described the deaths to the Johnson City Press as an apparent murder-suicide.

He said the deaths occurred after officers were called to a Johnson County residence late Saturday on a report of a shooting. Reece said officers initially found 50-year-old Mark Johnson with gunshot wounds. Police say his girlfriend, 31-year-old Heather Buchanan, fired at an officer before escaping into a wooded area with the girl.

Officers searched overnight with helicopters, but didn't find their bodies until the next morning. Reece said both had been shot in the head.

Reece said officers aren't sure what led to the initial shooting, but intend to interview Johnson when he is stable enough to talk.

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