Pregnant woman shot to death during fight in Newbern, TN - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Pregnant woman shot to death during fight in Newbern, TN

NEWBERN, TN (WMC-TV) - A shooting during a fight late Wednesday night in the small town of Newbern, Tennessee killed a woman and her unborn child.

Officials said the shooting happened just before 9:00 p.m. Wednesday when a crowd of several dozen gathered near the Newbern Housing Authority Complex.

Witnesses told police the victim, 20-year-old Tamera Brown, was fighting with the suspects outside the complex. 

The altercation had been part of a dispute that had escalated for weeks. Authorities said the argument started because a group of girls, including Brown, were upset over their boyfriends associated with girls in Ripley.

Witnesses said Brown had a bat, and at least one of the suspects had a gun. During the fight, one of the suspects started shooting, killing Brown and her unborn baby.

"The hospital called and said the baby died, so that makes it a double murder," Newbern Police Chief Harold Dunivant said.

Police issued first degree murder charges for Dontae Murphy, Colton Wylo, and Donell Madison.  A 15-year-old juvenile was also being sought for questioning, according to officials.

"Absolutely senseless," Dunivant said. "No reason at all for this."

Another man, Donald Wilkes, was shot in the hip, but was not seriously hurt.  Wilkes was wounded after he apparently returned fire, Dunivant said.

Investigator Greg Barr quoted witnesses as saying Brown had come out with a baseball bat when the crowd began to get vocal.

"The shots fired," Barr said. "And then I think it's fair to say that all hell broke loose."

Police recovered several 9 mm bullet casings from the scene, including one found in an adjacent apartment when a mother putting her baby to bed noticed a round had entered a wall.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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