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Shootings, deaths appear to be murder-suicide

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    Investigators take pictures of the bullet hole in deputy Alvin Flores’ patrol car Sunday night. No deputies were injured in the shooting and deputies did not return fire. CONTRIBUTED/PCSO
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    James David Mathis
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    A bullet hole is visible between the “T” and the “N” in “Putnam” on the back of deputy Alvin Flores’ patrol car. No deputies were injured in the shooting and deputies did not return fire. CONTRIBUTED/PCSO

A 41-year-old Monticello woman was murdered Sunday night by a Putnam County man, authorities say. The man then reportedly went to his Eatonton home, where he shot at Putnam County deputies and then killed himself.

The victim, Kira Ammons, 41, of Monticello, was shot multiple times Sunday, April 25 and later died, according to information from the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office via Mary Chandler, Special Agent in Charge at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Region 6 office in Milledgeville.

A “Be on the Lookout” was issued by Jasper County Sheriff’s Office around 8:45 p.m. Sunday, April 25, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said. The BOLO was for James David Mathis, 38, of Eatonton. Witnesses at the scene of the shooting told law enforcement that Mathis was responsible for Ammons’ death, Chandler said in her media release.

“Mathis was believed to have committed murder in Jasper County and he had fled the scene in a black Ford pickup,” Sills said. “(Jasper) Sheriff (Donnie) Pope called me at home to tell me they believed Mathis went to his home in Putnam,” Sills added.

As soon as the sheriff ended his conversation with Pope, Putnam County sheriff deputies called Sills and reported they were at Mathis’ house on the 400 block of Glenwood Springs Road and they believed Mathis was there.

“I was on my way there when the deputy called and said they were being shot at,” Sills said, and added, “When I got there, we surrounded the house and ordered him to come out, but there was no response at all. I called him on the phone, but he didn’t answer; I texted him, but received no response.”

Five deputies were at the scene and Deputy Alvin Flores’ car was hit by the gunshots fired from the direction of Mathis’ mobile home, Sills said. No deputies were injured nor did the deputies return any gunfire because they didn’t know where the shots had come from, so they didn’t know where the target was, Sills said.

Sills said he talked with Mathis’ brother-in-law who said he was at Mathis’ house shortly before the gunshots were fired. The brother-in-law told Sills that Mathis was not in the house and he believed Mathis had killed himself.

So, the sheriff and his deputies began searching the property and they found Mathis’ body on the side of the house that they hadn’t been covering. “There was no door on that side, so we weren’t worried about it and hadn’t been covering it,” Sills explained.

Mathis appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound; a Hi-Point .380 Carbine was beside his body, Sills said. The sheriff also said he saw a 9mm pistol elsewhere at the scene, which was believed to have been the weapon used in the Monticello murder.

Sheriff Sills released the Glenwood Springs Road scene to the GBI, and Ammons’ and Mathis’ bodies were sent to the GBI Crime Lab for autopsy. “Preliminary investigation is indicative that Mathis’ wounds are self-inflicted and Ammons’ injuries are a result of a homicide,” Chandler said.

Mathis had a prior arrest in 2019 in Putnam County for battery, Sills said. “But it was not on this woman in Jasper; it was in connection with an incident at Robert Parham’s Club on Glenwood Springs Road,” he added.