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Police: Man said 'I don't want to die'

Photo by Nate McCullough

Photo by Nate McCullough

SUWANEE -- Despite stabbing himself near his heart, Phillip Dunn told police he didn't want to die after attacking his wife in a Wal-Mart parking lot, according to a police report released Tuesday.

Dunn, 28, of Lawrenceville, is charged with murder for allegedly knifing his estranged wife to death outside the Suwanee retailer Sunday afternoon.

Police found the suspected murder weapon, a silver kitchen knife, in the bed of Dunn's Chevrolet truck. The couple's daughters, ages 6 and 8, screamed for their father in the truck as police arrived, the report says.

Police said Dunn and his wife, Shelley Dunn, 27, of Buford, used the parking lot as a meeting point to swap custody of the children. Suwanee police arrived to find them both lying on the asphalt, struggling for breath.

The suspect's mother, Susan Dunn, 56, was at the scene and bore witness to the attack, the report says. Witnesses told police she grabbed her son from behind in an effort to stop him. Two male bystanders also intervened, the report says.

An officer lifted Phillip Dunn's T-shirt to find a puncture wound near his heart. "He mumbled, 'I don't want to die,'" the officer wrote.

Police are unsure who'd brought the knife or what prompted the argument.

The couple was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center, where Shelley Dunn was later pronounced dead.

Phillip Dunn was released from the hospital Sunday night and arrested on charges of felony murder and malice murder. He was placed on suicide watch at the Gwinnett County Jail, the report says. He remains there without bond.

The children, who remained in the truck during the altercation, have been turned over to family members, police said.

Shelley Dunn's funeral at the First Pentecostal Church in Buford is scheduled for Thursday, the same day her husband is slated for a probable cause hearing in Gwinnett Magistrate Court.

She will be buried at Sawnee View Memorial Gardens in Cumming.

The killing is the city of Suwanee's first homicide in three years, and its second since 1965.