CAPSHAW — A well-known Athens family is reeling and a community is in disbelief after an apparent murder-suicide Friday morning in East Limestone.
Authorities were called to 18573 East Limestone Road just after 10 a.m. and found Jackie Perry, 74, and his wife, Linda Baugher Perry, 73, dead, said Limestone County Sheriff's Office spokesman Stephen Young.
The couple had been going through a contested divorce.
Young said it is believed Jackie Perry, a retired home builder, shot and killed his wife before going to a separate room inside the home and shooting himself.
"She had returned to the home to remove some of her property when the shooting occurred," Young said.
Young said members of Linda Perry's family, who had apparently arrived to help her remove the items, called 911 after hearing gunshots inside the residence.
"When deputies arrived, they found her lying inside the house," Young said. "Within minutes, they also found him inside the home."
Brandon Wallace, Limestone County 911 executive director, said dispatchers received a call in reference to the shooting at 10:07 a.m.
Limestone County Coroner Mike West pronounced the couple dead at the scene.
Athens contractor Keith Griffin said Perry was well known in the building community.
"He had been around for a long time," Griffin said. "It's pretty shocking news."
Terrell Carden, former president of the Athens Limestone Home Builders Association, said Perry's membership with the association had expired in recent years, most likely due to retirement, but he had remained visible at some association events.
The fatal shooting is the second in Limestone County in 2017.
Regina Hernandez, a 5-year-old Huntsville girl, was accidentally shot and killed during a New Year's Eve party on Buckskin Road in Athens.
Fidel Rodriguez Canchola, 34, has been charged with criminally negligent homicide, a Class A misdemeanor, for the shooting. He is being held in Limestone County Jail with bail set at $5,000.