Taylorsville man kills Laurel woman, then shoots self in Summerland


A Taylorsville man killed a Laurel woman before committing suicide in Summerland on Tuesday, newly elected Smith County Sheriff Joel Houston said.

The department on Tuesday responded to Smith County Road 8 at the intersection of Highway 28 on a report of an unresponsive couple in a vehicle that had been parked on the shoulder of the road. Jillian Bender of Laurel and Andre Ulmer Jr. of Taylorsville were found dead inside.

Houston said evidence suggested there had been a domestic altercation leading up to their deaths. Each had one gunshot wound, and Ulmer’s wound appeared self-inflicted, Houston said. A handgun found on Ulmer’s person is believed to have been the weapon used.

There is no evidence that anyone else was involved, the department stated in a press release.

“This will be under investigation until we have the results back from the autopsy and crime lab reports on the evidence that was submitted,” Houston said. “That usually takes about six months.”

Though Houston has worked several similar cases during his law enforcement career, such an incident is rare in Smith County, he said.

“My thoughts are with the victim’s children,” he said.

AMR Ambulance Service and the Taylorsville Police Department assisted at the crime scene.

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