Family Member: Fatal Ballpark Shooting Over Child Custody

By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief
By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief

Dandridge, Jefferson County (WVLT) - We begin tonight in Jefferson County, where a shooting last night at a ballpark left three people dead and people asking many questions.

Family members believe the shooting stems from drug charges on an ex-wife and lost child custody.

What started as just a fall little league game, turned deadly shocking in this small community.

"Had nothing to do with the recreation park, the Field of Dreams, it's just one of those things that happened," says Town Administrator Jim Hutchins.

One family member says the two families were leaving around 9:30, crossing the crosswalk, when Samuel Noe opened fire on Jerry and Sue Shands.

"Mrs. Noe tapped each one of them on the shoulder with an umbrella and as soon as they turned around to see just what was going on, they shot both of them--her in the head and him in the heart," says Bobby Shands, Jerry's brother.

Shands says his nephew then went to get the gun from Noe. "Brent saw this happened he went and tackled Mr. Noe."

Noe died and Shands says Brent was shot three times, so what would prompt a shooting between former in-laws?

Shands believes it's over child custody.

"Didn't appreciate Brent getting custody of the child," Shands says.

Attorneys for the Shands say the Noe's daughter, Diane Robbins, lost custody last year after an indictment on federal drug charges, and the in-laws had a strained relationship.

"Mr. Noe has threatened to Jerry several times to shoot him, but you don't think anything about threats like that, but Jerry was afraid of him," Shands says.

The situation seemed to culminate last week when Noe's daughter pleaded guilty and was taken into custody. The games for the rest of the week at the Field of Dreams have been cancelled.


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