apparent murder-suicide

Local law enforcement officials stand outside a house, left, in the 200 block of Shamrock Drive Wednesday afternoon after an apparent murder-suicide was believed found. Police responded to the residence in Westwood about noon after a phone call from concerned relatives who had been unable to reach anyone.

A Palestine couple was discovered dead Wednesday inside a Westwood residence in what authorities are calling an apparent murder-suicide.

Michael W. Jones, 42, and Kelly Gibson, 31, both of Palestine, were found dead inside a residence in the 200 block of Shamrock Drive around noon Wednesday after authorities received a “welfare call” concerning the couple, according to Palestine Police Chief Chuck Edge.

Jones and Gibson were pronounced dead at the scene by Anderson County Justice of the Peace James Westley who ordered autopsies performed on both bodies at the Southeast Texas Forensic Science Center in Tyler.

The bodies were discovered in a bedroom inside the residence and both persons had been shot in the head, according to the chief.

A shotgun believed to have been used in the shootings was recovered from the residence, he added.

“Everything right now appears to be that Mr. Jones fired the shot that killed Miss Gibson and then turned the weapon on himself,” Edge said.

The chief said the couple had been in a relationship for some time.

“They did have a long-term relationship and were living together,” Edge said. “They were having problems. I don’t know if he had moved out or was in the process of moving out.”

Shortly before noon Wednesday, the chief said his agency responded to the residence at 208 Shamrock Dr. after receiving a “welfare concern call.”

“We went to the location and were not able to get anybody to come to the door,” Edge said. “Officers eventually made entry and upon entry did discover the two deceased.”

Edge said a 4-year-old girl was inside the residence upon officers’ arrival, but was uncertain whether she witnessed the shootings.

The girl is believed to be Gibson’s daughter, according to the chief, who was uncertain concerning the child’s father.

The chief said Jones and Gibson appeared to have died sometime during the morning hours Wednesday.

Based on interviews with neighbors, the shootings possibly occurred around mid-morning Wednesday.

“We have neighbors who indicate they heard loud sounds around 10:30 a.m.,” Edge said.

Jones is believed to have been an employee of the Anderson County precinct 2 road and bridge department.

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Paul Stone may be contacted via e-mail at pstone@palestineherald.com

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