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April 5, 2012

Girl, 8, survives shooting

Mom, 35, killed self in attempted murder-suicide

JEFFERSONVILLE — A Jeffersonville child is recovering at Kosair Children’s Hospital after being shot in the head by her mother, who then fatally shot herself.

Jeffersonville Police Department Detective Todd Hollis said just before 6 a.m. Thursday, police received a call from Melissa Combs’ 10-year-old son, reporting a shooting at their home in Hallmark Apartments. Police arrived at the apartment off Allison Lane to find Combs’ 8-year-old daughter shot in the head and 35-year-old Combs dead.

Hollis said when officers arrived at the apartment, the young girl was talking.

“It’s nothing short of miraculous that she was able to talk to officers. She didn’t even know she was shot. She knew she was hurt,” he said.

Hollis said he believes the girl was shot while sleeping. He said the 10-year-old boy called police after he heard shots fired. The 10-year-old was not injured.

Hollis said the 8-year-old was taken to Kosair Children’s Hospital, where she had surgery. As of Thursday afternoon, Hollis said the girl was recovering and in stable condition.

George and Shelly Cannon, along with their three young children, live next door to the family.

George Cannon said he talked to Combs on Wednesday. He said she had just come home from a shooting range. Shelly Cannon also talked to her that day.

“She said she was looking for a job,” Shelly Cannon said, adding that Combs had said she was unemployed and didn’t have a GED.

Shelly Cannon said Combs was asking about employment opportunities at Shelly Cannon’s place of work.

“I told her to come over later to talk to me and she never did,” Shelly Cannon said.

The Cannons, who moved in last week, said Combs seemed nice.

“I wish I could have known something was wrong,” Shelly Cannon said. “I could have prayed with her.”

Hollis said Combs’ 10-year-old is staying with an aunt. He said the father of the children has been notified about what happened. Hollis said Combs didn’t appear to have a criminal history. He could not comment on a motive, saying the investigation is ongoing.

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