Mother mourns the loss of her son who was shot, killed outside furniture store

Victim's mother shares her grief

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Mid-South mother is mourning the loss of her son after a deadly shooting.

Memphis Police say American Freight Furniture store manager Thomas Hartman was shot and killed after an argument with a delivery driver.

Timothy Saunders, a former police officer, is charged with murder and was arrested a short time after in his 18-wheeler.

Hartman leaves behind three children; two under the age of ten for which he has sole custody.

JoAnn Macklin says her son, Thomas Hartman, cherished his children more than anything.

"His world revolved around them," said Macklin.

Now those three children have lost their father.

Hartman's mother wants to know why this happened because she says her son hated confrontation and would never fight someone.

Former police officer charged with murder

“He would turn and walk away and I can almost guarantee you that’s what happened yesterday,” said Macklin.

We learned the suspect in this murder case, Timothy Saunders is a former police officer from Clarksville, Tennessee.

Saunders was an officer for 28 years and retired as a sergeant in 2017.

Memphis Police say Saunders, who is now a truck driver, was dropping off a delivery at the loading dock of American Freight Furniture on Highway 64 where Hartman was an assistant manager.

Saunders left during an argument between the two, retrieved a gun, then returned and shot Hartman once in the head.

Hartman's heartbroken mother says only one thing gives her some comfort.

“The only thing that I can say relieves me and my heart just a little bit is if he shot him directly in the face, he died instantly so he didn’t have to suffer,” said Macklin.

Macklin says her son told her he had a problem with one particular truck driver.

"If I'm not mistaken I know exactly which truck driver he's talking about," said Macklin.

She says Hartman told her about an argument he would have with a driver that would arrive around noon.

"'Well I'm here you need to get me unloaded.' Tommy would explain to him, people are at lunch. 'I can't leave the front,'" said Macklin.

Now she's wondering what went through the mind of a former officer that led him to allegedly shoot her son in the head.

"I guess we'll never know," said Macklin.

Macklin says she wants the harshest penalty possible for Saunders and she plans to be at every court hearing.

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