Madison Co. Sheriff's Office responds to murder-suicide

The Madison County Sheriff's Office and HEMSI responded Friday morning to a shots fired call on the east side of Rustic Cedar Lane in Madison County.

Posted: Nov. 2, 2018 11:17 AM
Updated: Nov. 2, 2018 9:20 PM

The Madison County Sherrif's Office says a murder-suicide happened in a driveway Friday morning on the east side of Rustic Cedar Lane.

The sheriff's office and HEMSI responded to a shots fired call. According to Lieutenant Donny Shaw, Jonathan Neil Coffman, a therapist at the Arc of Madison County, killed a female, Sunshine Price Pauly. 

Officials said Pauly told 911 she was in danger because there was a man with a gun.

A 7-year-old child was present but was not injured. The child is with family now. Shaw said the father of the child told investigators Coffman was his son's therapist, and the Arc said that's untrue.

The people were all known to each other, and investigators are not sure what led to the incident.

"We have a quiet neighborhood with everybody. If you don’t know their names, you know their faces, and we wave when we’re going in and out," a neighbor said.

It’s pretty clear that neighbors on Rustic Cedar Lane are close, so when a driveway was filled with first responders Friday morning, everyone around wanted to know what had happened.

“I was like, 'Oh my God, what’s going on?’ and because I know that neighbor somewhat, I was concerned about the son and the people that live there, because I didn’t see them at first," a neighbor said.

According to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, a man showed up at a home, shot and killed a woman and then himself—all in front of the woman’s young son, who many neighbors say they saw often.

“Every time I’ve seen him, he’s just been out in the road, playing with the other neighborhood kids, just having fun," Garrett Mitchell said. "I feel really bad for him.”

“I would see the mom and dad sometimes walk the little boy to the end of the street. He liked to watch the cars, and they would let him watch the cars go by," another neighbor added.

That’s why neighbors say they’re thinking about the little boy and the rest of the family during this difficult situation.

“I pray for the family, the dad, the grandparents. I pray for the whole family, because I cannot imagine," one neighbor said.

Below is a statement from the Arc of Madison County:

"The Arc of Madison County, Inc., is aware of reporting by AL.com that Jonathan Neil Coffman is suspected of involvement in an alleged murder that occurred on November 2, 2018. The Arc is deeply saddened to hear of these tragic events. Mr. Coffman was employed by The Arc. To be clear, however, The Arc was not providing any services to the victim’s family. We want to provide space for the authorities to investigate this matter and for the families to grieve. We will have no further comment to the media."

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