The threats had been going on for months, she said. I'll kill you. I'll burn down the house.
But the words Allen Ott spoke Wednesday morning to his wife, Rhonda, sent her in search of help.
"First bullet's for you, second bullet's for me because this is all your fault," he told her.
But within hours, it was Allen Ott who lay dead, shot to death by police when he refused to lower his rifle.
The day's events unfolded quickly.
Soon after the 48-year-old Kingston, Ga., man threatened his estranged wife, a Floyd County judge issued a protective order for Rhonda Ott and her sons, with Allen Ott ordered to stay away.
Later in the afternoon Ott was found outside a home near Calhoun, Ga., waving a rifle near a pickup truck that had been reported stolen.
As Gordon County sheriff's deputies crept toward him and ordered him to lower his weapon, he pointed the gun at a deputy and was shot, Sheriff Match Ralston said.
Police said Ott then pointed the rifle a second time at another deputy and was shot again, this time fatally.
In accordance with standard procedure, both deputies are on paid leave pending investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Police haven't said yet what Ott was doing at the house in Calhoun or whether his wife or sons were nearby. While the sheriff's office wouldn't talk more about the shooting, local domestic violence workers applauded the officers' response.
"Perpetrators who violate protective orders present an increased level of danger to the victim, community and law enforcement," said Beth Peters, a county domestic violence outreach coordinator, in an email.
Ott was willfully violating a protective custody order, which often shows a perpetrator has no regard for the law or police, she said.
Rhonda Ott's petition for a protective order showed that she lived in fear of her husband.
In threats going back several months, he told her: "If you leave me, I'll kill you."
She also told the court that he threatened to burn down her house in Kingston. Police records show Allen Ott was arrested Monday for terroristic threats, but bonded out of jail.
The next day, hours before he was killed, Rhonda Ott said she came home from the doctor and found her husband at the house again.
After he threatened her, she reached out to the courts for more help. The judge issued the protective order ordering Allen Ott to leave their home and not go within 300 feet of his wife and kids. The order also gave Rhonda Ott temporary custody of their teenage boys.
Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...