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Madison County domestic violence triple shooting incident now a murder-suicide

Updated: Jan 30

Photo of Deanna and Hunter Swafford posted to Deanna’s Facebook page in May 2020

By Joe Johnson

A domestic violence incident that occurred last week in Madison County now involves a homicide.

Hunter Swafford, 21, of Colbert died after having been in critical condition since he was shot last Thursday, according to the Madison County Sheriff's Office.

He and his mother, 47-year-old Deanna Swafford were both reportedly shot by the woman's ex-boyfriend, Sean Paul Holler, 47, of Seagraves Drive in Athens.

Mother and son were initially transported to Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center, but Deanna was later moved to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, where she is recovering from non-life-threatening injuries.

According to the MCSO, the incident unfolded

at about 8:40 p.m. Thursday when deputies responded to the Bread Basket convenience store on Ga. Highway 72 in Colbert to investigate a report of two people who had been shot.

The caller was Deanna Swafford, who had driven to the store to await assistance. Upon arrival, deputies found the woman and her son in their car, both suffering from gunshot wounds.

It was subsequently determined that the incident had occurred at the Swafford residence about two miles from the store on Fennell Lane.

Deanna, who teaches at Cleveland Road Road Elementary School in Athens, identified the shooter as Holler, her former boyfriend.

After the victims were transported to the hospital, deputies found Holler in his car, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.

Deanna Swafford reportedly had ended her relationship with Holler a few months ago but he continued to harass her.

On the morning of the shooting she met with a police officer to file a report about phone calls and text messages from Holler that made her concerned about her safety.

Anyone who is in an abusive relationship can seek advice and services by calling Project Safe’s 24-hour hotline at (706) 543-3331, or by visiting

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So sad. My condolences to their families.


I don't know nuthin' bout nuthin' but this is sad as hell. Just imagine a world where no one carried a sidearm. Of course this still might have happened. But it also might not.

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