Two lives were claimed on Monday morning after an apparent murder-suicide took place in Nolan County, according to Nolan County Sheriff David Warren. The Nolan County Sheriff's Office spent the day working two scenes of a homicide and suicide connected to a domestic situation in Nolan County.
Warren said that a call was transferred from the Sweetwater Police Department to the Nolan County Sheriff's Office around 10:15 a.m. stating that James Elmer Rainey, 37, had shot his wife, Amy Dianne Rainey, also 37, in the driveway of his parents' home on County Road 217. She was shot four times, twice in the head and twice in the upper torso area. The initial call came from Rainey's mother, after he had gone into the home and told them to phone 9-1-1. The couple's two children, a son and a daughter, had stayed with their grandparents over the weekend, according to Warren. Mrs. Rainey had gone to her in-law's house to take one of the children to a dental appointment that morning.
"Mr. Rainey was there whenever his wife pulled up in the driveway, he may have taken her life right there in the driveway and then he actually walked in and told his parents to phone 9-1-1," said Sheriff Warren.
The couple was said to be having domestic troubles and had separated. Mrs. Rainey had recently moved to an address in Merkel and they were in the process of getting a divorce, said Warren.
After authorities were notified, Mr. Rainey fled the scene in a red Dodge welding truck. A search was conducted and two DPS officers, SGT James Arnwine and CPL Bill Wheat, a highway patrol officer in Sweetwater, located the truck headed east towards the home that the Raineys once shared on County Road 222.
"SGT Brock Carter and I arrived at the scene about the time Mr. Rainey was driving his truck back into the shop building on the property," said Warren. The property is located on the Fisher and Nolan County line with the home just inside Fisher County and the shop building just inside Nolan County.
"He pulled into the shop and we began giving verbal commands for him to exit the vehicle. Less then a minute later, he took his own life with a single gunshot wound to the head and died instantly," said Warren. "That situation occurred at 10:57 a.m."
Justice of the Peace Sharon Gardner arrived at both scenes and pronounced both subjects deceased. Both bodies were taken to Permian Basin Forensic Center in Odessa for autopsies to be completed today.
The Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Rangers are assisting the Nolan County Sheriff's Office with the investigation. The Sweetwater Police Department also assisted with photographing the scenes, collecting evidence and helped with the initial search.
Amy Rainey was a pharmacist and had worked for K-Mart Pharmacy, Maloney Pharmacy, Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital and most recently at Brookshireâ€™s Pharmacy. She began and continued the Angel Tree program several years ago for children in Sweetwater, providing gifts for children served by the West Texas Childrenâ€™s Advocacy Center.