Woman dead after arson, hostage situation in McMinn County

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NIOTA, Tenn. (WATE) – McMinn County Sheriff’s Investigators and the TBI were on the scene of a domestic situation, arson and officer-involved shooting, that resulted in the death of one woman.

Sheriff Joe Guy saying at 4:30 p.m. on Friday deputies arrived to a domestic situation and a multi-building fire at a residence on County Road 288 in Niota.

Deputies engaged with a male, Roger L. Branson, holding his wife hostage. They attempted to speak with Branson and he began firing shots from inside the residence.

Branson’s wife attempted to escape, and Branson then shot her.

Deputies then made their way to the back of the residence, as they attempted to negotiate with Branson, he then opened fire on them with a handgun; the deputies returned fire striking him.

The suspect was then taken into custody, and shortly after the deputies located his wife who was deceased.

The male suspect was believed to have started the fires, several fire departments responding to the fires on Friday afternoon.

Investigators say this is an ongoing investigation, and the suspect was transported to an area hospital and is awaiting criminal charges.

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