No Charges For Man Who Shot Brother - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

No Charges For Man Who Shot Brother

A man will not face murder charges for shooting and killing his brother over the weekend when the family members who lived next door to each other got into an argument.

Investigators believe an argument started between William Mark Hoffman and Eric Hoffman on Saturday night and carried over into Sunday. It ended when police say William shot Eric once in the neck with a 20 gauge shotgun. 

The family had a long record of domestic violence in the family. Police records showed officers have been called to the two addresses more than 50 times since January, 2004.

"Violent behavior unchecked will always lead to some kind of tragedy whether it's lethal or not. Tragedy comes in many forms," Leonard Keeler with the Metro Police Department said.

Police said Eric came at William with a knife, and William fired the gun in self-defense.

"It's horrible. I mean it's unreal. It's not even set in for me yet, because it was just like the other day we were all just sitting around the table hanging out," family friend Ethan Oelze said.

County records showed William filed for orders of protection three times to keep Eric away from family members. The latest filing happened in January.

William filed for orders of protection, but there was no follow-up and the petition was dismissed a week later.

"Police were called many times to the house, but there has to be that follow through. The victims of domestic violence have to be willing to take these things through the court system," Keeler said.

Police said Hoffman family members continuously argued with Eric about money, living conditions and getting a job. Eric was in trouble a lot, and faced 70 charges from Metro Police in less than 10 years. State records showed Eric served three years in prison for aggravated assaults. 

"One statement was made by the suspect that there have been 25 years of abuse at this location and he felt like he had to do something about it," Brad Corcoran with Metro Police said

William has also faced charges with Metro Police. He has faced two dozen charges since 1979, but he has never been convicted of a felony.

Detectives said the brothers' parents and Eric Hoffman's 6-year-old daughter were in the home at the time of the shooting. Police were concerned about children who have grown up with the Hoffman's.

Police said children who grow up in a home with domestic violence are 85 percent more likely to be a victim or perpetrator later in life.

Victims of domestic violence can get help by calling Metro Police. 

Police offer the following tips for victims of domestic violence:

--Make sure you report any incident of violence or threats.
--Take advantage of orders of protection.
--Seek a safe place.
--Do not drop charges.
--Report violations or illegal contacts.

Police said following their tips can often prevent tragedy.

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