Johnson County suspect, 6-year-old girl found dead in driveway - WFLA News Channel 8

Johnson County suspect and her 6-year-old girl found dead in neighbor's driveway

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Alexis Buchanan Alexis Buchanan
Heather Buchanan (Source: Johnson County Sheriff's Office) Heather Buchanan (Source: Johnson County Sheriff's Office)
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JOHNSON COUNTY, TN (WJHL-TV) -

Investigators are still working to figure out what sparked gunfire that left a mother and her six-year-old girl dead. Investigators believe a mother took her daughter's life, then took her own early Sunday morning. 

Saturday night at 10:05 PM, Johnson County Sheriff's deputies responded to a shooting on McEwen Ranch Road.

They found Mark Johnson, 50, at his neighbor's home. He had been shot in the hand and abdomen.

The shooter, Johnson's girlfriend, was still in their home at 1235 McEwen Ranch Road.

A deputy drove his squad car up the driveway, his headlights revealing a woman, 31-year-old Heather Buchanan, on the porch with a handgun.

She fired two shots at the Johnson County deputy, but missed him.

He took cover and stayed down until backup arrived around fifteen to twenty minutes later.

Sheriff Mike Reese tells us he then talked to Buchanan on the PA system, trying to get her to come out.

Reese says he and his officers didn't realize a 6-year-old girl was in the home with Buchanan, until 2 AM that night while speaking with neighbors.

His deputies went into the house and found Buchanan had escaped with her 6-year-old child, Alexis Buchanan, into the woods behind the home.

The sheriff's department along with the help of the Tennessee Highway Patrol Helicoptor with a heat seeking system searched for Buchanan until 4:30 AM when Mike Reese says the fog began to roll in and the conditions became unsafe for the helicoptor to continue.

Sunday morning, at 9 AM, the sheriff's office received a call.

Heather Buchanan, and her daughter, lay dead in a nearby neighbor's driveway.

Reese says they both had gunshot wounds to the head. Buchanan had two guns on her when they found them. One was a .32 and the other, the one she appeared to have used, was a .22.

A preliminary investigation shows that Buchanan took her child's life, then turned the gun on herself. Sheriff Reese told News Channel 11 Monday, their bodies have been sent to the Quillen College of Medicine for an autopsy.  

Alexis would have turned seven next month.

Johnson remains at Johnson City Medical Center in stable condition.

"This is just a bad incident all the way around. It's bad for the families, of everyone involved, it's bad for my officers, as well as all the others that came to assist," said Reese. 

Several agencies assisted including the Johnson County Sheriff's Office, Mountain City Police Department, Johnson County Rescue Squad, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Damascus Va. Police Department, Washington County Va. Sheriff's Office, Red Cross, and Nelson Chapel Church. 


Previous Story - 09/22/13

A search is underway for a woman authorities say shot a man last night in Johnson County.  We're told a woman reportedly shot a man near McEwen road.  When an officer responded to the scene, we're told the woman shot at the officer.  She the reportedly fled the scene. 

People who live in the area told us on facebook and through emails that officers were checking ID's in the area and warning people to stay inside.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol tells us they assisted the Johnson County Sheriff's Office and directed traffic in the area last night.

We're still working on gathering more information.


Previous story: 09/21/13 - 11:01 PM

Very few details are available at this time, but the Johnson County Sheriff's Office told News Channel 11 there is a situation. 

The Tennessee Highway Patrol told us they are assisting the Johnson County Sheriff's Office, saying it involves and officer and gun fire.

This is not confirmed, but here at News Channel 11 we heard scanner traffic mentioning an officer was pinned down by fire and multiple shots being fired.  Again that is not confirmed.

We are continuing to gather information.  Look for updates here in www.wjhl.com

Copyright 2013 WJHL. All rights reserved. 

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