County woman charged with shooting boyfriend

Published 5:09 pm Thursday, March 29, 2018

A Stoney Creek woman faces a felony charge after police say she shot her boyfriend during a dispute.

Deputies of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office arrested Joe-anna Frontz, 25, of 102 Johnny Jack Private Drive, Elizabethton, on Wednesday night and charged her with aggravated domestic assault.

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According to reports, shortly after 10 p.m. on Wednesday, CCSO Deputy Nathaniel Swymer was responding to a call when 911 dispatchers alerted him that a woman had called 911 about a shooting which had just occurred and was in her vehicle at a store which Swymer had just passed. Swymer said he went to the parking lot and encountered Frontz.

“Ms. Frontz appeared visibly shaken and frantic,” Swymer said. “Ms. Frontz, upon my arrival, was on her knees with her hands in the air. Ms. Frontz said, ‘My hands are in the air and my gun is in the front seat of my car.’”

Swymer said CCSO Sgt. David Tranbarger arrived on the scene and they were able to calm Frontz down to speak with her. The woman told officers she had gone to her boyfriend’s house to retrieve some of her things.

“Ms. Frontz stated that (her boyfriend) had a ‘mental break’ and pushed her up against her car and started to strike her in the head,” Swymer said.

Frontz told officers she was able to push the man away and he began walking back and forth before starting to walk toward his vehicle where she knew he kept a firearm.

“Ms. Frontz stated she got scared and retrieved her firearm from the back seat of her truck,” Swymer said. “Ms. Frontz then stated that Mr. Grindstaff got a knife and stated ‘Well I’m just going to kill you then.’”

“Ms. Frontz stated that due to her being in fear for her life she shot (her boyfriend) one time in the stomach as he approached her sitting in the back seat of her vehicle,” Swymer continued. “Ms. Frontz stated that (her boyfriend) was close enough to the vehicle that he had a hand on the frame of the open back door to her vehicle.”

Frontz told the deputies after shooting her boyfriend she drove to the store where she called 911.

Swymer said while Frontz provided a written statement to Tranbarger, he drove to the boyfriend’s house to ask him what had happened.

“(He) stated that he and Ms. Frontz had been arguing earlier that day, and Ms. Frontz had threatened him with a gun,” Swymer said. “(He) stated that he thought nothing of the threat, so he was not worried when Ms. Frontz came to the house to retrieve her belongings.”

The man told officers when Frontz arrived at his home she got out of her truck and then sat down in the back seat, which he said he thought was “strange” but didn’t think much about it.

“(He) stated that he had to load Ms. Frontz’s belongings in over her because of the way she was sitting in the vehicle,” Swymer said. “(He) stated that once he had loaded Ms. Frontz’s belongings, Ms. Frontz asked ‘Is that everything?’ (He) stated that when he said ‘yes’ and told her to leave he didn’t want to see Ms. Frontz again Ms. Frontz shot him and left the scene.”

Deputies arrested Frontz and charged her with aggravated domestic assault.

Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said the man suffered a minor injury as a result of the injury.

“It was a grazing,” Lunceford said, adding the man was not admitted to the hospital.