Black road investigation

Limestone County Sheriff's Office investigators work the scene of a death investigation Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, on Black Road.

Three people were found dead at a residence in the 22000 block of Black Road during a welfare check Wednesday. The incident appears to be a domestic double murder-suicide, an official said.

Deputy and public information officer Stephen Young identified the homicide victims as 48-year-old Jerry Thomas Phillips and 52-year-old Jamie Lynn Phillips. Young said it appears they were killed by 29-year-old Robert Earl Gilchrist III, who shot himself inside the residence after a Limestone County Sheriff's deputy arrived to conduct a welfare check.

The Sheriff's Office has not announced a cause of death for the Phillips's.

A family member of the Phillips's, who lived out of state, called in the welfare check after she was unable to contact either of them. The caller had spoken to Gilchrist, who advised her that the Phillips's did not wish to speak to her. Gilchrist was the son of Jamie Phillips, and he had recently been released from prison in Tennessee. After his release he had been staying at the residence with them.

"Another incident of domestic violence resulting in tragedy in Limestone County highlights the importance of domestic violence awareness," said a press release from Sheriff Mike Blakely. "Seemingly minor altercations can escalate quickly, causing devastation to families and other loved ones. Anyone who is experiencing the effects of domestic violence or has family members in that situation is encouraged to reach out, not only to law enforcement, but to volunteer organizations, churches, counselors, community members and leaders, and friends. It could save your life or the lives of your loved ones."

The News Courier will have more on this story as it develops.

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