AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Commen Gunn was well known in Augusta. She was the CEO of the Augusta Youth Debutante Society, and those who knew her said she was a beloved mother and friend.
She was shot to death on Wednesday night at the Fitzroy Townhomes off Boy Scout Road in Augusta. According to a police report, her own husband, Shawn Gunn, is the suspect.
He was taken to a hospital after a shootout with deputies, and has not yet been booked into the Richmond County Jail.
Neighbors who witnessed the shooting said they’ve heard arguments from the townhome where the Gunns lived before.
“There be a lot of fighting and stuff going on at that particular residence,” said D.J. Samuels, who lives at the townhome complex. “Lots of yelling and stuff like that.”
Shawn Gunn has had several run-ins with the law dating back to 2014, and he’s faced domestic violence-related charges at least twice.
“Definitely needs justice to be served because this is not right at all,” Samuels said.
Commen and Shawn shared a daughter, and domestic violence experts want people to be aware of the lasting effects that situations like this one can have on children.
“We know that more often than not, domestic violence is a learned behavior and children who witness these behaviors growing up – if you’re a male you are more likely to be a batterer as an adult, and if you’re a female you’re more likely to accept the behaviors,” said Jessica Coach, the executive director at the Cumbee Center in Aiken. “And the reason for this is because we do what we’ve known our whole life.”
If you’re going through a domestic violence situation, whether it’s emotional, physical, or both, Coach wants you to know you’re not alone.
“It is Cumbee Center’s mission to support and empower victims of domestic violence and sexual violence and their families by providing services, advocating for social change, and reducing the tolerance for abuse,” she said.
And she wants outsiders looking-in to do these key things.
“Believe them, support them, be there for them whenever they choose to leave and when they choose to go back,” Coach said. “Because that’s when they need you the most. Don’t turn you back on them because they will leave again, because that’s when they’ll need you as a friend. They need your support.”
Domestic violence nonprofits in the CSRA such as the Cumbee Center and SafeHomes of Augusta provide an array of resources to help you or loved one that’s going through this situation.
You can also call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 to speak with someone at any time of day.