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Glade Spring, Va. man accused of abuse prior to early morning shooting

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GLADE SPRING, VA (WJHL) -

According to people who knew the Palmers, domestic abuse had been going on for years in the Palmer family.

"About six years ago when I was called to Virginia High School to meet with her, she had a broken nose and black eyes," Johnson said. "She appeared to be very scared of her husband and afraid to go back to the situation, but she was also equally scared to not go back."

Then six years later, the abuse still happening, Kristin Palmer told law enforcement about instances of recent abuse.

Kevin was arrested for domestic abuse last week, but then posted bail quickly after and was released. Kathy Johnson, executive director of Abuse Alternative said they urged Kristin to file for an order of protection.

On February 24, the day before Kristin and Griffin died, she filed an order of protection.

"It's extremely hard to monitor that individual, once he's served, basically they're put on notice to not have contact with that individual and again were hoping that they abide by the guidelines of that protective order, that won't happen," Washington County, Va. Sheriff Fred Newman said.

Johnson said they also offered Kristin and Griffin a shelter with a secret location to stay in, but she said Kristin declined.

"If Kristin had chosen shelter services, she might still be alive, and that in no way is placing blame on her for what happened to her," Johnson said. "I think often victims think that because they have a protective order in place, and charges filed, and doing all those things that we inform victims to do there's still a risk or harm to them if the batter knows where they are."

The Sheriff said under the protective order, Palmer wasn't allowed to have weapons, but there's no system in place to search the home or make sure the person doesn't keep their weapons.

"He tormented Kristin and Griffin for years. I think regardless of where she was at, regardless of what she was doing, this is a case where he would have killed her once he found her," Johnson said. "There's only one person to blame in this story and that was Kevin Palmer for what happened."

Johnson said in her twelve years working at the shelter, she's never seen a case where the victim was murdered, let alone family members.

 


 

A Glade Spring, Va. man who shot his wife, son, mother-in-law and father-in-law early Tuesday morning before taking his own life, reportedly has a documented history of abuse.

On Feb. 19 around 3:36 p.m., arrest warrants were issued by Washington County, Va. Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court to arrest Kevin Dale Palmer, 44, 12131 Deerfield Lane, for abuse of Kristin Griffin Palmer, 46, and Griffin Palmer, 17.

According to one warrant, Kevin Palmer had verbally and mentally abused Kristin Palmer on several occasions between Jan. 18 to Feb. 1. He reportedly threw a TV remote control at her and it caused a bruise on her left leg.

Kevin Palmer also allegedly pushed Kristin Palmer down a set of stairs.

On a second arrest warrant, he was accused of grabbing his son, Griffin Palmer, by the neck and hitting him on the side of the head numerous times on Feb. 2. 

Griffin Palmer reportedly had a knot on the side of his head following the abuse. It was also reported that Kevin Palmer verbally and mentally abused his son, according to the warrant.

On Tuesday, Kristin Palmer, Griffin Palmer and Kristin Palmer's mother, Nancy Griffin, died from their gunshot wounds. Kevin Palmer also died from what authorities believed to be self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

Kristin Palmer's father, Terry Griffin, was reported to be in fair condition Tuesday at Bristol Regional Medical Center. News Channel 11 called to check on the status of Terry Griffin's condition Wednesday and a Wellmont spokesperson said there was no information to report.
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 Four dead after shooting at Glade Spring, VA home, names of shooting victims released

A domestic dispute, which allegedly had been ongoing for several weeks, turned deadly in Southwest Virginia early Tuesday morning, resulting in four people killed.

The dispute reportedly resulted in a man going to his in-law's home on Graceland Lane in Glade Spring, Va., around 5 a.m., where he reportedly shot and killed his wife, son and mother-in-law. The man then reportedly took his own life.

According to a Washington County Sheriff's Office news release, three of the people killed were Kristin Palmer, 46, Griffin Lane Palmer, 17, and Nancy Griffin, 74.

The shooter, Kevin Dale Palmer, 44, was also found dead at the scene from what authorities believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Another shooting victim,Terry Griffin, 75, is reportedly in fair condition at Bristol Regional Medical Center.

According to a Washington County, Va. Sheriff's Office news release, Washington County,Va. Central Dispatch received a call from who they said was Griffin Palmer, who allegedly told dispatchers that two people had been shot at 33325 Graceland Lane.

The phone was then disconnected and when they called back, Griffin Palmer said he had been shot.

When dispatchers asked him where the shooter was, he told them he was still in the house.

EMS, the Glade Spring Lifesaving Crew, Washington County Lifesaving Crew and the Washington County Sheriff's Office were called to the home.

According to the release, the first officer was at the scene around 5:44 a.m. and found five people had been shot – three people in critical condition and two people were dead.

They were taken to Bristol Regional Medical Center. Griffin Palmer died on the way to the hospital and his mom, Kristin Palmer, died at the hospital.

Authorities told News Channel 11 earlier Tuesday that Kevin Palmer had forced his way into the Graceland Lane home, armed with a handgun and a rifle. Evidence from the scene also indicated that a struggle had occurred in the home.

A shooting victim, later identified as Terry Griffin, was shot in the arm and was able to get to a neighbor's house to call 911.

The shooting is believed to be a result of a domestic situation between Kristin and Kevin Palmer, both of 21131 Deerfield Lane in Glade Spring.

According to a court affidavit, Kristin Palmer wrote that on Feb.19, her husband, Kevin Palmer, was charged with assaulting her, as well as her son, Griffin Palmer.

Kristin Palmer wrote that for the last 7-8 years, Kevin Palmer had been physically, mentally and emotionally abusive to her and her son.

"Almost daily he verbally assaults both of us," she wrote. "He threatens retaliation when I have tried to leave before by threatening to hurt my father and ‘ruin' my life. He has kicked me, strangled me, tried to drown me, slapped me, bit me (and) dragged me by the hair during arguments."

According to the affidavit, Kevin Palmer also reportedly kicked, whipped, pulled (Griffin's) hair and hit my child when disciplining him. He also reportedly called Griffin Palmer names.

Kristin Palmer said that her husband also reportedly threw objects at her and broke household items.

"His verbal abuse is extensive and manipulative toward both me and my child," she wrote. "He has even told both of us to kill ourselves and we know where the guns are located. He is extremely volatile toward us whenever we do not adhere to his control. He has controlled us for years. I am continuously scared to be home late, to have friends, to work overtime, to go out shopping.

"He has threatening to ruin my job many times. I do not want … him to harm my parents and individuals at my work (students and faculty)," Kristin Palmer wrote in the affidavit.

A preliminary protective order of family abuse was filed Monday, which ordered Kevin Palmer to not have any contact at any time with Kristin Griffin Palmer, or with any of her family or household members.

Kristin Palmer was granted possession of the home Deerfield Lane, as well as was granted temporary exclusive possession of the couple's 2011 Ford Fusion.

A hearing on the petition for a protective order was scheduled on March 4 at 8:45 a.m.

The investigation into the shooting and domestic assault is ongoing.

Griffin Palmer was a student and football player at Patrick Henry High School in Glade Spring.

His grandmother and grandfather, Nancy and Terry Griffin were both former employees of Emory and Henry College.

"On behalf of Emory & Henry College, I wish to express my profound condolences to the family and friends of Nancy Griffin, a former employee of Emory & Henry College, and other members of her family who died Tuesday morning," Emory and Henry President Jake B. Schrum said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. "We ask for prayers for Nancy's family, including her husband, Dr. Terry Griffin, a retired E&H professor, who is recovering from injuries sustained in the incident. Both Nancy and Terry, who served this institution with distinction and dedication for many years, occupy an important place in the heart of the Emory & Henry community, and this tragedy leaves us with an extreme sense of sadness and loss."

News Channel 11 will have a live report on today's events beginning on the news at 5 p.m. 

Copyright 2014 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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