ELBERTA, Ala. (WALA) - Since taking over as chief of the Elberta Police Department nearly four months ago, Stanley DeVane says he hadn't seen a shooting in his small town.
He said that changed Saturday around noon with what appeared to be an attempted murder-suicide.
"[Deana Cotton is] fortunate to be alive, taking a gunshot wound from a shotgun and then two handgun rounds," Chief DeVane said.
DeVane says Cotton's wounds to her lower extremities were suffered from point-blank range at her duplex off Highway 98.
The suspect: her husband, Rodney Cotton.
After shooting his wife in the groin and legs, police say he then turned the shotgun on himself.
"The victim told us that they'd been in a dispute, and that she had fled the scene, and he was still at the house or had left the house in her vehicle," Chief DeVane said. "And when we got there, we found him on the floor, with a gun laying by his side and a suicide note by his side, so we're pretty confident that it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound."
The Cottons have two children but they weren't present during the shooting.
DeVane says he doesn't see crimes like this becoming a pattern.
"This is a very peaceful community; it's an isolated incident, it's a domestic violence. No matter what town you go to, you're going to have some of that," he said. "Usually it's not this extensive, but it does happen."
EPD is awaiting a toxicology report to come back on Rodney Cotton to find out if he was under the influence of something during the incident. Those results will not be available for weeks.
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