It is unclear whether any charges will be filed following a fatal shooting at 244 Hiatt Road Sunday night, Sheriff Graham Atkinson said Monday.
“We’re going to present what we have at this point to the District Attorney and let them determine whether charges are going to be filed,” he said.
Shortly after 7 p.m. Sunday, deputies with the county sheriff’s office responded to a reported shooting at the Hiatt Road residence, according to the sheriff.
“The caller stated that the shooting was the result of a domestic assault in which she was the victim,” he said.
Upon arrival, officers discovered Christopher “Jake” Montgomery Tulley, 41, dead of a single gunshot wound to the back of the head.
Officers secured the scene and began to identify witnesses, and detectives were called to the scene, as was the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Crime Scene Unit.
Investigators were told that there had been a violent domestic assault at the home during which the female who reported the incident had been assaulted by Tulley.
“A third party at the home had witnessed the assault and tried unsuccessfully to intervene,” Atkinson said.
After being unable to stop the assault and fearing that the female would be killed, the third party shot Tulley once in the back of the head with a .410-gauge shotgun.
“The person responsible for the shooting has been identified and is cooperating with investigators,” said the sheriff.
Contacted by telephone Monday, Atkinson said the third party was related to the female victim, and is 17 years old. He declined to release either the assault victim’s name or the name of the suspect, saying it would be up to the District Attorney’s office to determine whether charges will be filed.
“It looks like there was a pretty violent domestic assault going on,” he said. “The female was being choked and the 17-year-old tried to intervene and was unsuccessful. (The juvenile) ended up getting the gun and shooting him in the back of the head.”
Atkinson said the department will not be releasing the name of the assault victim.
“No one is in custody and no charges have been filed,” he said.
Atkinson said the juvenile may have saved the life of the victim.
“From what I’ve heard from detectives and the description of the events from witnesses, the assault was very violent and it could have turned deadly if it had been allowed to continue,” he said.
The incident is still being investigated by the Surry County Sheriff’s Office, Atkinson said.
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.