Glynn County deputy charged with shooting wife in Nashville

Randy Austin says he didn't shoot wife in head, and she didn't shoot herself

By Corley Peel - Reporter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A deputy from Glynn County is accused of shooting his wife in a downtown Nashville hotel room after the two had been out drinking.

Randy Austin, 59, is charged with attempted criminal homicide.

Austin's wife was shot in the arm and head and is in critical condition at a Nashville hospital.

The Nashville Metropolitan Police Department said the couple were out drinking Thursday afternoon and returned to their hotel room, where police were called after the shooting.

Investigators said evidence suggests Austin's wife had her right arm up in a defensive motion and was squatting or kneeling at the time of the shooting.

The bullet passed through her right forearm and lodged in her right temple.

Police said Austin denied shooting his wife and maintained that she did not shoot herself but said the two were the only ones in the room.

He told police he left his gun on the nightstand, walked away and moments later heard a shot.

According to the arrest affidavit, he said that he saw blood coming from his wife's head and rushed to help her while calling for help. He then picked up the gun, which he said was still in the holster on the floor, and put it in his pocket.

News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said he feels there are missing pieces to the story and investigators may have to rely on forensics to determine what exactly unfolded.

"What makes it hard to believe is everything was hunky-dory, they were fine, and he walked out of the room and all of a sudden he heard a sound, shot, and his wife was shot. But she’s got a defense wound where she was hit in the arm and hit somewhere else on her body, which means someone was probably pointing the gun. And she did a defensive posture, which is a reflex to try to shield the bullet," Jefferson said. "We know that something happened to trigger this event. We just don’t know what. If his wife survives this incident, maybe she can tell the truth as to what happened.”​​​​​​"

Austin is being held on $500,000 bond.

Social media posts appear to show the couple were celebrating their anniversary in Nashville.

News4Jax contacted the Glynn County Police Department for comment, but had not heard back as of Friday evening.

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