A Tennessee high school teacher was shot to death by his teenage daughter while he was sleeping, authorities said Tuesday.
It is too early in the investigation to determine if any criminal charges will be filed, said Deputy Chief Donna Turner of the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office. “An accidental shooting has not been ruled out in this case, nor has it been ruled a homicide,” Turner said.
A news release from Sheriff J.T. “Pancho” Chumley provided details of what happened: Shortly after midnight on Monday, deputies responded to a report of a shooting at the Millington home of Douglas VanNeste, his wife and their two children. When they arrived, the deputies discovered VanNeste, 40, fatally shot.
Investigators believe his 15-year-old daughter shot VanNeste while he slept in a recliner in the den. Turner said he was killed with a 20-gauge single shot shotgun.
The teenager and other family members are cooperating with the police, Turner said. The15-year-old has been questioned.
An autopsy is being conducted by the county medical examiner. Preliminary findings could be made public later today.
Turner said the sheriff’s office will hand over its findings to the district attorney, who will make a recommendation as to whether or not to charge anyone with a crime.
VanNeste was a history teacher at Munford High School. Turner said he had taught at the school for approximately seven years.
“This is a tragic incident for the VanNeste family, the Munford High School staff and student body and our Tipton County community,” Sheriff Chumley said in the press release.
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