Suspect indicted for capital murder after Walmart shooting


William Thomas "Tommy" Chisholm

By: 
RYAN PHILLIPS
SDN Editor

An Oktibbeha County Grand Jury has indicted a Kosciusko man with a history of domestic violence and mental illness for capital murder and aggravated assault after police say he shot and killed a Starkville optometrist in January. 

According to Oktibbeha County Circuit Court records, 41-year-old William Thomas "Tommy" Chisholm was indicted by the grand jury on June 26, with the two-count indictment being served on July 6 ahead of the July circuit court term. 

Chisholm is accused of killing 42-year-old Dr. Shauna Witt at her optometry practice at the Walmart on Highway 12 on Jan. 13. The aggravated assault charge stems from a bystander, Kaylace Beatty, who was shot through the jacket, but uninjured during the incident. 

ALSO READ: Friends remember Witt’s infectious smile, love for others

Police initially arrested Chisholm for murder, but police cited an underlying burglary charge as the reason he was charged with capital murder. 

Chisholm is currently being held in the Oktibbeha County Jail without bond for the capital murder charge, but bond for the aggravated assault charge was set at $100,000. 

The Starkville Daily News previously reported that Chisholm and Witt had been in an “on-again, off-again” relationship, according to investigators. 

On the morning on Jan. 13, investigators say Chisholm entered Walmart, where Witt’s practice was located, and shot her twice with a Springfield .9 mm pistol. 

Chisholm was detained by officers in the parking lot of the store, as Witt was transported to OCH Regional Medical Center. She was pronounced dead shortly after 10 a.m. that morning. 

A video filmed by bystander Ken Murrell shows the moments when Chisholm was arrested. Multiple officers had guns drawn in the Walmart parking lot as they surrounded him.

He can be heard on camera telling officers to “Kill me, please. Take me down. Kill me. Kill me.”

WATCH: Bystander recalls deadly Walmart shooting 

The Starkville Daily News also previously reported that Chisholm was out on bond for a malicious mischief charge in his hometown of Kosiuscko. KPD Chief Herbert Dew then confirmed that Witt reported Chisholm was destroying her property by burning her clothes. 

Chisholm was arrested for those charges on Dec. 12, 2017. 

Additionally, Chisholm was involved in another incident in April 2012, where Madison County Sheriff's deputies responded to a welfare concern reported by Chisholm's mother.

Madison County Chief Deputy Jeremy Williams said Chisholm barricaded himself in his home and was in a standoff for about four to five hours until they were able to apprehend him.

He was then transported to a nearby hospital for mental and medical evaluation. Williams said no arrest was made.

This is a developing story. Follow the Starkville Daily News for updates. 

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