published Saturday, October 5th, 2013

No charges yet in fatal Tullahoma, Tenn., teen shooting

No charges have been filed in connection with a shooting Tuesday in Tullahoma, Tenn., that claimed the life of a Tullahoma High School student and wounded his uncle, authorities said Friday.

Tullahoma police said in a news release on the shooting that 17-year-old Austin Ferrell was found unresponsive on the porch of a home at 512 W. Grundy St. in Tullahoma around 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Ferrell's uncle, George Clay Taylor, 38, was found in the home's yard also suffering from a gunshot wound.

Taylor last was listed in stable condition at Vanderbilt Medical Center, police said.

The suspected gunman, 73-year-old Nicholas Dipietrantonio, the resident at the address where the shooting occurred, was questioned by officers, along with 50-year-old Debra Ng, who was at Dipietrantonio's home at the time, Tullahoma Police Department Capt. Scott Jackson said.

He said authorities are trying to figure out the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting.

"The investigation is still ongoing, so there's not been a determination yet," Jackson said Friday.

Jackson said a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol was seized at the scene.

The teen was remembered during a candlelight vigil Wednesday night, according to Mike Landis, principal at Tullahoma High School where Austin attended.

"The loss of any student has an impact on all the students in the school," Landis said. "Our kids have banded together.

"Visitation is today," Landis said on Friday of Austin's funeral service arrangements. "We've had several students who have asked about details, and some students are wearing blue ribbons in memory."

Landis said students are about to go on fall break for two weeks, which will give them time to start recovering.

"It's a tough time for his family and us as a school and community," he said.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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