One dead, one hospitalized in McMinn County shooting near Athens

Shooting tile

A shooting Saturday in the Mount Verd community of McMinn County, Tennessee, claimed the life of a 54-year-old woman and left a 31-year-old man hospitalized.

The deadly incident happened after a small group of people went to a home on County Road 202 just outside the Athens city limits, where a dispute erupted and shots were fired, Sheriff Joe Guy said Monday.

"It appears that a group of two to three people who were having a relationship dispute with the victims came to the residence sometime after 8 p.m.," Guy said. "At least one member of the other party apparently produced a firearm and fired the shots that killed Ms. [Mary Denise] Dalton and injured Mr. [Jonathan C.] Burger."

photo Staff File Photo / McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy.

According to a news release on the shooting, the initial call was a reported shooting.

When deputies got to the scene they found a woman identified as Dalton, 54, dead, according to the statement. Officers also found Burger, 31, who had been wounded. Burger was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to the statement.

Dalton and Burger both lived at the County Road 202 residence, authorities said.

Sheriff's deputies and detectives, along with investigators from the 10th Judicial District Attorney General's Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, collected evidence from the scene over the weekend.

Several search warrants were executed Sunday in the investigation, Guy said.

"One of the suspects was located in Ooltewah, and the other two were located in Etowah, and all are being questioned," Guy said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim's family."

Contact Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton.