Thursday, November 8, 2012
CLYDE — In a case acquaintances call completely inexplicable, a longtime town of Clyde employee shot and killed his wife, then killed himself.
Charles Palmer Jr., 48, shot his 51-year-old wife, Judy, several times with a handgun before turning the gun on himself, Haywood County Sheriff Bobby Suttles said.
The incident happened at 8:45 p.m. Friday inside the couple’s home on Lookout Point Road, north of Clyde, he said. The couple’s two sons, ages 20 and 17, were outside in the yard when the shootings happened.
Suttles said there was no history of domestic problems at the home.
“It appears to be a domestic dispute between the two, but we’ve never been out there before,” he said. “Their two sons were at the residence when it happened. It’s really terrible.”
Palmer, who worked as maintenance supervisor, had been a town employee since 1996, Clyde Mayor Jerry Walker said.
The community on Sunday was still trying to come to grips with the unexpected deaths, Walker said.
“I would never have believed this could have happened,” he said. “I don’t know what could have happened. I doubt anyone else does. It’s a very sad time for the town. He was a good friend of mine. I’m going to miss him terribly.”
Walker said he saw Charles Palmer and his wife separately earlier Friday, and nothing seemed out of place. Walker chatted with Palmer as Palmer worked installing the town’s Christmas decorations. The mayor later saw Judy Palmer when she stopped by Town Hall for a visit.
“I talked to him and his wife Friday,” Walker said. “There was no indication anything was going on.”
On his way to church Sunday, Walker said seeing the town clock really drove home finality of the tragedy. The clock should have been set back an hour to reflect a return to standard time.
“He would have had that clock changed,” Walker said. “It just reminded me of how Charlie was. He was a great guy.”
The family will have a joint funeral for the couple at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the chapel of Garrett Funeral Home. The family will receive friends 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.