A harrowing 911 call detailing threats by an intoxicated boyfriend to “put this gun to your head and pull the trigger” caused Mindy Bullard to beg for her life and the lives of her seven children at the scene of a birthday party near Dawnville last Thursday.The Chattanooga Time Free Press reports:
“I’ll kill them too,” David Dwight Hartline, 41, of Summerville, replied to the pleas.
The sheriff said victim Mindy Bullard’s estranged boyfriend David Dwight Hartline, of Summerville, Ga., had been drinking and was told not to come to the party. When he did arrive, an argument broke out. Investigators believe the boyfriend was the first person to fire shots, but there was an exchange of gunfire, the sheriff said. At least 25 shell casings were recovered at the scene.This is another tragic example of why domestic violence is not just a matter to be handled by a couple behind closed doors. Batterers don't stay home all day with the shades drawn. They work, go to restaurants, attend family functions, worship, and interact constantly with other members of the public. Their partners do, too, and that means that the violence also goes to work, restaurants, family functions, and worship services and interacts constantly with other members of the public. The messages we give in all of these settings influence whether a batterer feels secure enough in that setting to use violence overtly or not (for example, if his friends constantly tell sexist jokes and tell him he needs to control his wife, he may feel that they would approve of his violent behavior), but if violence against women is a routine part of a man's world, he will not leave that part of himself at home. This was one situation where that violence was triggered in public, and now three people are dead.
When authorities arrived, Bullard’s father, Edward Henry Manz III, a Chattanooga resident, and Hartline both were dead in the home. Bullard’s ex-husband, Kenneth Simonson of Cleveland, Tenn., was alive in the home but later died at Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton, Ga.
Bullard, also shot in the legs, crawled to a neighbor’s home. Her wounds are not believed to be life threatening, the sheriff said.
Whitfield County Coroner Bobbie Dixon said all of the victims had multiple gunshot wounds, and much of the gunfire was recorded in graphic 911 calls released to the Times Free Press this afternoon.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families.