SHARPSBURG, GA – Vanessa Phillips, 35, a mother of five, was fatally shot by her estranged husband Dustin Phillips, on Tuesday night in front of their four-year-old daughter in the town of Sharpsburg, Georgia. According to the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office, Vanessa’s body was discovered outside a home in the 100 block of Halo Trace. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and U.S. Marshals were enlisted to aid in the investigation and manhunt.
On Wednesday night, information led the Coweta County Sheriff’s deputies back to the south Georgia home. They found Dustin, who reportedly pointed a gun at them. Deputies returned fire, hitting and killing Dustin on the scene. The safety concern resulted in the closure of the Sharpsburg Town Hall as well as Staley Park and Pavilion on Wednesday.
Family members described the couple’s relationship as toxic. Vanessa and Dustin, who had been living in Tennessee, split a year ago, with Vanessa returning to Coweta County.
Jeyson Brooks, Vanessa’s youngest brother, stated that since moving back to Coweta, Vanessa and her children had experienced a great year of reconnecting with their family. Despite the alleged history of mental and physical abuse by Dustin, Brooke explained that no legal action had been taken despite multiple police reports in both Tennessee and Georgia.
Vanessa was the mother of five children, ranging in age from four to eighteen. The oldest son is also the father of a one-year-old baby. Brooks praised his sister for her dedication and love for her children. “She just absolutely loved her kids more than anything in this world,” he stated, describing his sister as an “absolute angel” who always saw the best in others.