CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Countryside Drive is a short road in Carter County with just a few houses on the street. People in the neighborhood say typically it’s a quiet place – so the news of a shooting Sunday morning came as a shock.
“We just heard sirens,” said James Lipscomb a neighbor of the home where the shooting occurred. “We never hear them out here that much. I just happened to look out the door and they were lining the whole street.”
James Lipscomb has lived across the street from Cynthia Ellis and her longtime partner Andrew Gilbertson for the past six years. When he heard sirens Sunday morning, he said he first thought there was an accident in the home.
“The police started yelling at me and my wife to get back, it was a crime scene,” said Lipscomb. “We were like, ‘Whoa, something’s happened to Andrew and his wife, we want to know so we can protect our family.'”
Lipscomb would soon find out that Ellis had allegedly shot Gilbertson after an argument.
According to Carter County Sheriff Mike Fraley, the call came in around 8 a.m. Sunday.
“There were several calls from inside the house that had called 911,” said Fraley.
According to affidavits, Ellis told deputies that while the two argued, she went to the bedroom to get her gun and cell phone.
Gilbertson allegedly followed her to the bedroom and stood blocking the doorway.
Ellis then reportedly shot Gilbertson twice in the doorway, followed him into the kitchen where she shot him a third time, then called 911.
Ellis’ brother was said to be in the home at the time and tried to help Gilbertson. He also reportedly called 911.
Affidavits state Ellis met deputies outside the home.
“She was very cooperative with investigators,” said Fraley. “The TBI worked the scene and came down and interviewed Miss Ellis, and at some point during the morning, the victim passed away, was either in or out to the hospital or shortly after arriving at the Johnson City Medical Center.”
Sheriff Fraley said he hasn’t found records of calls to the home before Sunday.
“You know, we don’t know the circumstances,” said Lipscomb. “It’s not our business, but they were good to us. They were always good to us.”
Ellis is being held on a $500,000 bond and is set to appear in court again on December 19.