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Deadly shooting in Ellendale Sept. 4


This photo shows the driveway entrance to Chestnut Hunting Lodge, off Old NC 90, scene of a fatal shooting September 4.

Sheriff's deputies, EMS paramedics, and fire personnel responded to the scene of the fatal shooting Thursday evening, September 4, at Chestnut Hunting Lodge in the Ellendale Community.

Jonathan Wayne Thompson

(Updated Sept. 9, 3:55 pm)

Murder, suicide leaves

two dead, one injured

Tragedy rocked the Ellendale Community Thursday night, September 4, when a woman’s estranged husband opened fire on both her and her mother, then turned the gun on himself, authorities said.

Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman told The Times that his office was notified of the shooting Thursday evening, about 7:21 p.m., when Mary Darlene Tarlton, age 54 of Ellendale, called 911 from Chestnut Hunting Lodge, off Old NC 90 in Ellendale.

The Sheriff said the preliminary investigation indicates that Tarlton and her daughter, Brandy Nicole Tarlton Thompson, 34, had been shot by the young woman’s estranged husband, Jonathan Wayne Thompson, age 32. Brandy Thompson had received bullet wound in the chest area and Mary Tarlton had been struck in the mouth by a bullet. Jonathan Thompson then shot himself, Bowman said. A small caliber handgun was the weapon used. The shootings took place in the yard outside a residence on Chestnut Hunting Lodge Lane.

Brandy Thompson and Jonathan Thompson were pronounced dead at the scene, Sheriff Bowman indicated. Mary Tarlton was taken by ambulance first to Frye Regional Medical Center, then to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, where she was still being treated Friday morning, September 5. Tarlton’s wounds were not believed to be life-threatening at last report, Bowman stated.

A four month old infant was found unharmed in the home. The baby is the child of Mr. and Mrs. Thompson. 

Staff with Baptist Hospital were performing autopsies Friday, September 5, on the remains of Mr. Thompson and Mrs. Thompson.

The Sheriff said it was believed the shooting stemmed from a domestic issue between Mr. Thompson and Mrs. Thompson. Sheriff Bowman said the couple had separated about a week ago.

Mary Darlene Tarlton is the daughter of Jerry Rushing, owner of Chestnut Hunting Lodge. Brandy Nicole Thompson is Mr. Rushing’s granddaughter. 

According to a list of marriage licenses published last year in The Times, Jonathan Wayne Thompson and Brandy Nicole Tarlton were issued a marriage license during the week ending August 23, 2013.

Obituary information stated that memorials may be given to benefit Rowdy Cole Thompson, infant son of the deceased. These may be sent care of Alexander Funeral Service, P.O. Box 40, Taylorsville, NC 28681.

In addition to the response by members of the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office, Bowman said his agency was assisted by Ellendale Volunteer Fire Department, Alexander County EMS, Alexander Rescue Squad, Alexander County Department of Social Services, Caldwell County EMS, and the N.C. State Highway Patrol.

Times’ readers may recall that Tarlton and her daughter had been mentioned for their accomplishments in these pages in recent years. Mary Darlene Tarlton was Adult Best in Show prize winner at the 2012 Taylorsville Lions Club’s Alexander County Agricultural Fair for her fine wooden carved statue. She then placed First at the North Carolina State Fair for her carving. Darlene is also well known for her taxidermy skills. Brandy Tarlton Thompson was featured in The Times on April 18, 2012, for her work as a poultry farm operator at Whiskey Mountain Farms, which is adjacent to Chestnut Hunting Lodge. Brandy grew about 200,000 broilers at a time, in eight poultry houses, for Tyson Foods.

Visitor Comments
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Submitted By: Larry FrostSubmitted: 9/17/2014
I have known Jerry,Dean,Darlene and Brandy for probably 30 years. A fine family. This is just a senseless tragedy. Our prayers are for them. May God give them strength

Submitted By: ronnie dickensSubmitted: 9/10/2014
My prayers go out to this wonderful family I knew jerry and he was a great man prayers going out mr rushing and hope darlene recovers and my god be with you all in this sad time!if there is anything I can do jerry just let my brother know god bless you all

Submitted By: Dana Simms NoelSubmitted: 9/10/2014
I still cannot wrap my head nor my emotions around this. God bless you Mr Jerry, Ms Dean, and Darlene. I will continue to pray for you all

Submitted By: Patsy DavisSubmitted: 9/9/2014
I will do my best to pray for this man's death and for God to comfort his family and friends.

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