Coroner: Columbus shooting suspect found dead - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

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Coroner: Columbus shooting suspect found dead

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COLUMBUS, Ga. - A man wanted for allegedly shooting and killing a Phenix City woman in Columbus has been found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Muscogee Counter Coroner Buddy Bryan tells News 3.

Lyle Charles, 53, of Phenix City, was found inside his vehicle. Authorities traced Charles' cell phone to the vehicle left parted along Fortson Business Park Boulevard, a small street located off Williams Road. He used a pistol to shoot himself, the same weapon he used to shoot his wife, according to Bryan. 

Charles is accused of shooting his estranged wife Tonya Moses-Charles, 44, of Phenix City, seven times outside the Muscogee County Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) office around 8 a.m. Friday morning, according to David Wallace, a spokesperson with the DFCS office. Wallace says she was an employee of the office and was arriving to work at the time of the shooting. When she got out of her car, she saw her husband with a gun, she ran back to the car and that's when the man started shooting, says Wallace.

Phenix City Schools Superintendent Rodney Hinton tells News 3 Moses has children, who attend Phenix City Intermediate School and Phenix City Central High School. Both schools were placed on lockdown as a precaution because authorities were concerned the suspect may try to pickup the children. Both lockdowns were lifted around 11 a.m. 

This is Columbus' fourth homicide of the year. Last year, the city saw 23 homicides, which was characterized as an "above-average" year for homicides in the city.

David Hurst

David Hurst, a graduate of the Univ. of Georgia, is News 3's nightside reporter.
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Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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James Brierton

James joined WRBL News 3 with experience from CNN, NBC News and his own hyper-local news site. He manages the WRBL News 3 Web desk. More>>

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