Neighbors shocked by murder-suicide in Covington

By Jamel Major - bio | email

COVINGTON, TN (WMC-TV) - Police continued to investigate Thursday after a Covington man apparently murdered a woman and then turned the gun on himself Wednesday evening.

The shooting occurred around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at a on Long Avenue in Covington.

Thursday, Arthur Somerville was still trying to come to grips his friend Ricky's death.

"I'm shocked, basically like everybody else," he said. "Just shocked, man."

Wednesday night, police found Ricky Malone, 49, and Allegra Michelle Pierce, 38, shot to death inside the driveway of a home on Long Avenue.  According to investigators, the couple got into an argument, which quickly escalated.

"The original call came in that there was a dispute at the residence," said Detective Larry McGarity of the Covington Police Department. "There was a secondary call that came in to shots being fired at the same location."

Somerville spoke to Malone shortly before the shootings.

"He came down here and asked me for a cigarette," he said. "I gave him a cigarette. He walked up to the house. I went in the house. Next thing I knew everything just broke loose."

Family members, who did not want to talk on camera, said couple dated for 14 years.  Pierce had five children, and the couple shared three.

Authorities said Malone lived inside the home with his parents. Neither his parents nor the children were there when the shots were fired.  

Neighbors like Effie Johnson, who know the family well, said it was an unfortunate tragedy.

"It's sad," Johnson said. "I prayed for the family this morning and last night.  I think everything will be all right."

Both bodies have been sent to the Medical Examiners office in Memphis for an autopsy.

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