Questions remain in shooting

Published 6:00 am Monday, February 11, 2002

A lot of questions remain unanswered in the shooting of aBrookhaven real estate businesswoman Saturday night, but lawenforcement officers are hoping to make some progress in theinvestigation today.

Betty Montgomery, of 1201 Ingram Street, was listed in stablecondition at the University Medical Center’s intensive care unitMonday morning.

Sheriff Lynn Boyte said Montgomery was shot around 8:20 p.m.Saturday night while sitting in a rocking chair inside her home.The shot came from behind and struck her in the head.

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“She was talking to her sister on the telephone,” said JimmyMontgomery, her son.

Jimmy Montgomery said that while his mother was talking to hersister, Edna Furlow, she said she heard a noise. She then toldFurlow she had gone blind and needed help. Furlow called JimmyMontgomery.

When he arrived, he said, the back door was unlocked andMontgomery was sitting up in her rocker covered in blood.

“I asked her if she fell and she said, ‘No, blood just startedpouring out of my head,'” Jimmy Montgomery said.

He noticed a hole in her right temple and said they needed to goto the hospital. Montgomery walked herself to the car.

She was still alert when they arrived at King’s DaughtersMedical Center and while tests were conducted. Doctors discoveredshe had a bullet in her brain and decided to transfer her to aneurosurgeon at UMC.

“They said they are going to leave the bullet in the brain,”Jimmy Montgomery said. “They felt they might do more damage tryingto remove it, and it would be best to just leave it.”

Jimmy Montgomery said the family is hopeful she willrecover.

“The first 24 hours are the most critical and those havepassed,” he said. “She’s in bad shape, but she is coherent and hasbeen.”

The incident is still under investigation, Boyte said, and hecould not say if the shooting was deliberate or accidental.

“We’re currently following down a few leads,” the sheriff said.”We hope to check those out today. Right now we don’t have a motiveor a reason for the shooting.”

The bullet that struck Montgomery in the right temple enteredthe home through a bedroom window.

Mrs. Montgomery owns rental property and has other businessinterests in Brookhaven and Lincoln County. Jimmy Montgomery saidhe will stay in Brookhaven to run the businesses while his sister,Gail Onesi, stays with their mother in Jackson.