Shots shatter Signal Mountain serenity

Shots shatter Signal Mountain serenity

July 11th, 2009 by Maddie Burke in News

No customers were sitting in Hair Divas' styling chairs when the bullet tore through the wall, shattering one of the mirrors and flinging glass in all directions.

"There were two loud bangs, the ceiling shook, and suddenly glass was everywhere," said co-owner Kelly Simon.

Customers and employees were in other parts of the Signal Mountain hair salon at the time, she said.

"I'm still shaking," she said. "You don't expect to see these things on Signal."

Shock was one of the main emotions lingering on Signal Mountain Friday after chiropractor Terry Loher was shot in his office in the Ashley Place shopping center.

His ex-wife, Tina Loher, is charged with attempted first-degree murder after she showed up with a gun about 9:30 a.m. Officials said she got out of her Ford Escape - leaving her 5- and 7-year-old daughters inside - and entered her ex-husband's business with gun, Signal Mountain Chiropractic Clinic.

Shannon Wyke, a trainer at the Signal Mountain Athletic Club, also in Ashley Place, knew something was terribly wrong when he saw Mr. Loher's receptionist running towards the athletic center.

"There is a look that people have on their face when someone is in big trouble," he said. "All she could say was 'Call 911. He's been shot. He's been shot. Someone has shot the doctor.'"

Mr. Wyke's said his first response was to run to the neighboring day care, Kids Day Out.

"I wanted to check and make sure we had all the children accounted for, and that no one was outside," he said.

Inside the day care, owner Stephanie Schefano heard yelling outside, but no gunshot.

"We weren't sure what the emergency was," she said. "We thought someone needed our help, but then a trainer ran in and told us to lock our doors. The scary part was not realizing if there was going to be another shot."

While chaos was swirling in the shopping center, the trainers from Signal Mountain Athletic Club "were amazing," she said. "It was brave the way they immediately tried to help," she said. "They kept us informed and tried to clear the parking lot of people."

Derrell Wyke, head trainer at the athletic club, simply said, "When something like that happens, your instinct kicks in."

"Our first concern was the people," he said. "We all knew where to go without even saying it."

"I knew that, if anyone was going to do something, we would have to do it," said Shannon Wyke, Derrell's brother. "I just thought, 'OK, this is happening. Now what can I do to help?'"

Signal Mountain police also earned Ms. Schefano's praise.

"I felt safe when I saw the police officers in action," she said. "You forget how trained they are. You forget because you see them around town all the time, but then you see them in action and it's totally different.

"It made me proud. When something arose, they were on it, and I felt safe."

While innocent bystanders were OK, Shannon Wyke still felt a sense of sadness.

"It is sad. Nothing really surprises me anymore, I have seen and been around so much," he said. "As somebody who keeps up with everything that goes on around me, I know there are people who settle differences in a violent manner."