A domestic dispute in Bristol ended in tragedy with a Blountstown Middle School coach found dead last Wednesday night.
Authorities say Tranum McLemore, 35, referred to by students as “Coach Mac,” is believed to have died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds. According to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Tallahassee, autopsy results will not be released for about eight weeks, the typical time for toxicology reports to be completed.
“She had to leave to save her life," Sheriff Conyers says of Winter McLemore, Tranum's wife, who fled their Hoecake Road home just after 9 p.m. following an argument that turned violent. As she left the house, Sheriff Conyers says Winter reported hearing two gunshots. A neighbor confirmed hearing the shots and seeing Winter running from the home. The neighbor further reported hearing multiple shots after Winter drove away.
Around 9:15 p.m., Winter reportedly arrived at the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, where dispatchers noted she had marks on her neck and injuries to both eyes. McLemore told authorities a domestic incident had occurred at her home and she was told to remain at the Sheriff’s Office while deputies responded. She further advised her three daughters, ages 2, 5, and 10, were still in the home.
“Dispatch gave it to Dep. Shiver, Dep. Walker and Dep. Geiger,” says Sheriff Conyers, adding that Winter told the dispatchers she heard what she thought might have been two gunshots as she fled. “They pulled up to the house and I think the oldest daughter actually opened the door. About that time, [Winter’s] sister pulled up to house and the deputies gave the child to her and got the other children out.”
A search of the home was conducted with Tranum McLemore discovered dead in the couple’s bedroom. “He was hit three times,” Sheriff Conyers reports. “In the shoulder area first, in the head second, and, as he was collapsing, a third shot went off in his leg.” A total of six shots were fired according to Conyers, with one striking a window and two others hitting the ceiling. Laying under the left leg of Mr. McLemore was a Ruger 9MM semi-automatic pistol.
Sheriff Conyers says the couple was reportedly having marital problems, but no prior reports of domestic violence had ever been filed with his agency.
As for whether Mrs. McLemore had any hand in her husband’s death, Sheriff Conyers says her clothing was tested, but there was no indication she was anything other than a victim. “She didn’t kill him,” says the sheriff. “I’m convinced it was self-inflicted and there was nobody else involved.”
Over at Blountstown Middle School, counselors were brought in to help students cope with the tragedy.
BMS Principal Neva Miller has nothing but praise for McLemore. “Tranum McLemore was a valued and loved member of our BMS family,” she remarks. “He touched the lives of those he taught and those that he worked with in such a positive way. Each day, he reached out to our students and urged them to work hard and give their best in everything they did. Most importantly, he taught our students to be honest, kind, and to be the best person he or she could be. Those of us who were fortunate enough to work with him experienced his concern for others, his competitiveness, his desire to succeed, and his incredible sense of humor. Being around him made all of us better. We loved Tranum and we will miss our ‘Coach Mac.’ The McLemore family is in our thoughts and prayers and we ask that this community continue to remember them in this time of loss.”
A memorial service for McLemore was held Saturday at the United Methodist Church in Wewahitchka.
“She didn’t kill him,” says the sheriff. “I’m convinced it was self-inflicted and there was nobody else involved.”
Sorry Mr. Sherriff, but isn't that what an investigation is supposed to determine? This isn't an episode of Law & Order, you should be doing your job before declaring facts you haven't even determined yet. This doesn't pass the smell test to me.
04/13/12 at 03:25 PM
In the sheriff's view, it was suicide befor the bullets even left the gun. I feel sorry for anyone not related to the Sheriff's Office, good luck with justice