Standoff Ends In Suspect Shooting Himself

Norma, TN (2010-05-06) After keeping authorities at bay for more than an hour, a Norma man shot himself in front of them. He survived.

Around 10:30 p.m. Thursday night the Scott County Sheriff’s Department, along with the Scott County Ambulance Service, was dispatched to the home of Emit Gayle Bowling, located at 165 Mill Branch Road in the Norma community.  Authorities were following up on a report that Bowling had attempted to kill himself by taking a large quantity of pills.

When authorities arrived, Bowling reportedly barricaded himself inside his home and refused to come out.  For more than an hour, authorities negotiated with Bowling, trying to get him to surrender his weapon and come outside.  In the end, Bowling, still armed with the gun, reportedly stepped outside.  As he descended the steps of his home, Bowling reportedly turned the weapon on himself, firing one shot at close range under his chin. The bullet, stated authorities, barely grazed his check, resulting in a minor flesh wound.

The Scott County Ambulance Service transported Bowling to St. Mary’s Medical Center of Scott County, where he was treated for non life threatening injuries.

According to Chief Deputy Bobby Ellis, Bowling was indicted on Tuesday by the Scott County Grand Jury on drug possession charges.  After the indictment was handed down, Scott County Sheriff’s Department Drug Agent Kris Lewallen reportedly contacted him.  As result, he allegedly agreed to turn himself in.  After failing to make the deadline, authorities once again contacted Bowling, who reportedly agreed to surrender to authorities Friday morning.

At some point later, authorities learned Bowling had decided to take his own life, leading them to respond to his home.

Upon arrival, Bowling, allegedly brandishing a gun, refused to allow authorities and medical personnel inside; thus beginning his standoff with law enforcement.

Inside his home, Bowling allegedly taunted police, often making lewd hand gestures to officers just outside his back door.  Early in the standoff, authorities established telephone communications with Bowling, who refused to lay down his weapon and come outside.  During those negotiations, Bowling reportedly agreed to turn himself in to Lewallen, but after Lewallen arrived on the scene, he still refused to come outside.  Bowling reportedly spent most of the next hour at his kitchen table, often picking up the handgun. Initially authorities monitor his movement in the house through an open back door; however, at some point he reportedly closed the door, telling officers he had booby trapped all the doors and windows.

Just before midnight, Bowling agreed to come outside, but reportedly refused to drop his weapon.  In the end, Bowling reportedly fired one shot toward himself, leading to his facial injuries.