MURRAY COUNTY, GA. (WRCB)-- Thanks to his sister tipping him off to the Murray County Sheriff's Department's radio traffic, Howard would know that the most violent crime to hit Chatsworth in years, would take place only four doors down from his home on Bahamas Drive.

"It's very close to home," he says.

"Especially when you look up and down this way and see it happen."

Shortly before 8:45 Sunday night, Peggy Sue Green Hamby, 46, had dialed 911 in a panic. She told the dispatcher that her estranged husband, Kenneth Kish Green, 45, had pointed a rifle at her and threatened to kill her should anybody intervene.

"We dispatched three officers, but only one officer had arrived at the time of the shooting," Sheriff Howard Ensley says.

Sheriff Ensley has declined to name the Deputy involved, except to reveal that he is a veteran officer.

"The Deputy parked some distance from the house, and approached to assess the situation," Sheriff Ensley says.

The Deputy had counted on darkness, and a light pole to provide cover.

"He saw the rifle produced by Mr. Green. Mr. Green shot her (his wife), instantly," Sheriff Ensley says.

"I was out there and I heard the shots, two of 'em," Pullen tells Eyewitness News.

The Sheriff says the Deputy then ordered Green to drop his weapon, but Green refused to comply.

"At the same time Mr. Green raised a weapon and shot at the officer," the Sheriff says.

"The officer raised a weapon and shot Mr. Green."

"He (the Deputy) never should have been by hisself (sic)," Pullen says.

"Cause it could have been another one like Chattanooga (the death of CPD Sgt. Tim Chapin April 2)."

Sheriff Ensley insists his Deputy had no choice.

"The internal investigation is complete. He followed all the rules, done an excellent job," the Sheriff says.

The Deputy is not on administrative leave. He is expected to return to work Wednesday after his normal days off.

Neighbor Michael Ponders is trying to make sense of how the woman who bartended at Chatsworth's American Legion Post, could die by her husband's hand.

"They seemed very open and friendly," Ponders says. "I helped them and they helped me with gardening."

Other neighbors have declined to go on camera. But they tell Eyewitness News that the couple argued frequently, and that the deadly showdown may have begun over a dispute about digging worms for a fishing trip.

Records for Murray County Superior Court indicate Green was facing trial for aggravated assault involving his wife, stemming from a confrontation last year. The indictment alleges that on September 24, Green threatened her with an ax, "swinging said weapon at her and striking a door with said weapon."

"There was an order for him to stay away from her," the Sheriff says. "It was a bond condition for his release. But evidently, she didn't enforce it."

Federal court records indicate Green could have been sentenced to more than eleven years in prison in 1999, for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Instead, he received five years' supervised release.

Pullen still wonders how the friendly couple whom he saw working in their garden only hours earlier, could meet such violent ends.

"The Deputy had to do it (shoot Green), there wasn't any way around it," he says.

 "I probably would have done it too."

Peggy Hamby will be laid to rest Friday. Survivors include her mother, Betty Haley Pullen, of Dalton; her grown daughter, Shasta Campbell, and her son, Michael Hamby.

The family will receive friends at Ponders Funeral Home in Dalton from 6-9pm Thursday.

Services will be at 4pm Friday at Ponders's Melrose Chapel.