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Detectives reveal what led to tragic shooting

By Lyndsey Price, lprice@wcyb.com
Published On: Feb 25 2014 04:35:40 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 25 2014 05:36:23 PM CST

Four people are dead and another is in the hospital following a shooting in Glade Spring, Virginia.

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. -

Four people are dead and another is in the hospital following a shooting in Glade Spring, Virginia.

We now have new facts, including the victims' names and what authorities say led up to the violence.

We're told the domestic dispute behind this tragedy has been going on for at least six years. Washington County Commonwealth's Attorney Nicole Price tells us the family was just in court Monday to extend emergency restraining orders they had against the shooter, 44-year-old Kevin Palmer.

It was a long domestic dispute between Kristin Palmer and her husband, Kevin Dale Palmer, that ended tragically in the small town of Glade Spring, Virginia on February 25, 2014. Click here to read an affidavit written by Kristin Palmer about the abuse (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT).

Kathy Johnson works with Abuse Alternatives, an organization that offers aid to victims of domestic violence. "Kristin was not interested in emergency shelter services Monday. I don't know the reason for that, but we like to think if she had [used a shelter], maybe she would still be alive today," Johnson said.

"[This situation] started on Wednesday, February 19 after [Kristin] filed complaints of domestic abuse against herself and [her son] Griffin Palmer," said Major Jack Davidson with the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

According to deputies, Kevin Palmer turned the abuse from his wife Kristin to his 17-year-old son Griffin Palmer last Wednesday. "He grabbed his son by the neck and had struck him several times in the head with his fist," he said.

That's when Kristin and Griffin began staying with her parents, Terry and Nancy Griffin, in their home in Glade Spring.

Detectives tell us Tuesday morning Kevin Palmer woke the family up by breaking into the home, armed with two guns. Davidson says Kevin Palmer shot all four people inside the home, then turned the gun on himself.

Kristin's father Terry managed to get to a neighbor's house to call 911, then went to the home of Rob Romans, another neighbor. "He had gone to at least one other residence. I think they're are the ones that called 911. We opened the door and found him," Romans told us.

Romans says it's been a tragedy for the community. "They were great folks. It's a tragedy. It's the way the world is, and it's just sad."

Deputies say Kevin Palmer and Nancy Griffin were pronounced dead at the scene. 17-year-old Griffin Palmer died en route to the hospital; his mother Kristin was pronounced dead later at the Bristol Regional Medical Center.

Kristin's father Terry Griffin is listed in fair condition at the Bristol Regional Medical Center.