Husband, wife dead in murder-suicide in Smyrna


A man and woman are dead following a murder-suicide in Smyrna Sunday morning.   

Smyrna police officers were called to the home on Wisdom Way around 5 a.m.   

Arriving officers found a man and woman dead on the floor of a bedroom, according to Smyrna police.  

Investigators believe 43-year-old James T. Barnes shot and killed his wife, Tiffany Barnes, 32, before he shot and killed himself.  

All four of the Barnes’ children, ages eight to 17, were home at the time of the shooting but none were harmed, according to Smyrna police.  News 2 has learned it was one of the couple’s children who heard the gunshots and called 911. 

They are now in the care of family members.  

Neighbors News 2 spoke with Monday said they feel for the children who will now have to grow up without their parents.  

“It’s a sad, sad situation that the kids have to grow up without their parents,” neighbor Stephen Whitaker said. “I hope they have some relatives that can help them or the community can help them get through this ordeal. It sure will stay with the kids forever. I hate they have to go through that.”  

Whitaker said he saw a swarm of police at the home as he was heading to church Sunday morning.  

“After I saw the crime tape, I knew something tragic happened, and it just scared me being in the community in which I live. It really shocked me,” he said.  

James Barnes worked for Parkway Wine and Spirits in Smyrna. Employees told News 2 he had worked there for about a year and that he told co-workers he was a 100 percent disabled veteran who needed something to do to get out of the house.  

They said this behavior was out of character for him.  

Tiffany Barnes worked at Chili’s.  Donations can be made for the Barnes’ four children by sending them to: 

P.O. Box 31584
Clarksville, Tenn. 37040 

Donations can also be dropped off at a friend’s business located at: 
235 Dunbar Cave Road
Suite B
Clarksville, Tenn. 37043

In the last two weeks, there have been at least three murder-suicides in the Nashville area.  

Sarah Kmita is a licensed professional counselor with Psyche in Nashville.  

She said early intervention is key in possibly preventing a suicide or murder-suicide.  

“Suicide is never really dealt with in isolation or murder-suicide for that matter,” Kmita said.  “So, it’s something you can’t take back, and it’s definitely something that can be prevented, even if you feel like it has gotten to a point where there are no other options.  We would still encourage you to reach out because likely other people are going to come up with solutions to help you may not be able to think of on your own.”  

RELATED: 2 men dead in South Nashville murder-suicide

RELATED: Mother, daughters killed in double murder-suicide at West Nashville condo

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