The 911 Call

Sometime just before 2 pm on Monday police recieved  a 911 from James Morris, 51. He allegedly told the dispatcher that his wife had come home from work for lunch, and had planned to return to work. He said he had gone to work that day, but had come home because he was sick. He said he and his wife had been in a struggle, and that he had shot her. He also stated he was armed with a shotgun.

Police who responded to the home report they heard a single shot being fired. Upon searching the home they found Royceanne Miller, 49, on the back deck. She was covered in a blanket and according to reports she had been shot once in the back, near the lumbar spine.

They found James Morris on the back patio. He was in a chair with the shotgun by his side. He was dead from what they are calling an “apparent self-inflicted injury.”

Detectives say it did appear there had been a struggle in the home as there were several decorative items that had been knocked over. Police say there had been no previous calls to the home for domestic violence.

Royceanne Miller was still alive. She was taken to the hospital where she has undergone 4 surgeries. She remains in critical condition. She did not have health insurance, and the community is banding together to come up with funds to try to assist with her health care costs.

Domestic violence detective Tommy Roberts is reviewing the case to determine the cause and “I’m going to try to piece this together to hopefully prevent this from happening in the future.” (911 call at link)                  

They are calling them domestic violence detectives, though they do not explain the term. Somehow the thought that perhaps they have assembled a team that deals with only domestic violence cases is somehow reassuring to me.

Just the action of appointing a DV team does acknowlege there is a difference between DV and other types of cases. Experience will help a lot, and if there is training also, then they may be taking a step ahead.  If they are actually talking to survivors- finding out what worked for them and what didn’t, then they will really be making major strides.



  1. Becky J said,

    January 12, 2007 at 6:42 am

    Hi home, i was just wondering if you know how to contact the police station that has the “domestic violence dectectives” it sounds very interesting to me and something that i would like to research so that at some point i can present something like that to our police force in my town, with the education awareness weve been doing i think it would be something we could try to get going on here. Thanks. Also i hope that Royceanne makes a full recovery, were there any children in the household? If so i hope they utilize some counseling to help them learn to deal with such an awful tragedy.

  2. Laura said,

    January 12, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    Domestic Violence Detective sounds like a brilliant bit of police theory. I would love to read more about it.

  3. January 12, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    From the first Murfreeboro link it says this:
    “couples who are experiencing domestic problems may seek help from the detectives at 893-2717 or the Domestic Violence Program services at 896-2012.”
    And it is North Carolina

  4. becky j said,

    January 12, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    Thanks home for the information, you do a great job!!

  5. January 12, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    You’re welcome. Hope it helps.

  6. Susanna Viljanen said,

    November 25, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    With sadness I announce that Royceanne Miller passed away 18 November 2008. She fought bravely for her life and was recovering from her injuries, but they eventually proved too much for her.

    Royceanne Miller, 51, was an amateur poet and songwriter, and well known amongst the musical hobby community. She is survived by her older sister.

  7. November 26, 2008 at 1:40 am

    Susanna I am so sorry to hear that. It is hard to tell the severity of the injuries from a newspaper article. I was so hoping that she would make it and she did make it just under 2 years. So she must have been a very strong woman. This has to be a big loss not only to her family and friends but also to her community. I am so sorry.

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