Ex-girlfriend shot; man kills himself

Bullets fired in Covidien parking lot

Anger over his estranged girlfriend's refusal to resume their relationship appears to have pushed an Augusta man to shoot her and kill himself Tuesday after she pulled into work at an Augusta plant.

The man -- identified as Alfonicia Gilbert, 35, of the 2800 block of King Street in Augusta -- shot his ex-girlfriend as she sat in her car in the parking lot of the Covidien plant at 1430 Marvin Griffin Road about 7 a.m., Richmond County sheriff's Lt. Calvin Chew said.

Afterward, he turned the gun on himself.

Chew said the woman, identified as Tiffany Bush, 28, of Girard, Ga., was in serious condition at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

The couple had a rocky past. Gilbert was recently thrown out of a doctor's office Bush was visiting, Chew said.

"He came there unannounced and made a scene," he said.

The couple have two children together, Chew said.

Family members of the victim said Bush didn't have a restraining order against Gilbert, Chew said.

There are also no records of domestic violence incidents between the two filed with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Gilbert pleaded guilty to a 2001 cocaine-possession charge and was placed on probation for five years, Richmond County Superior Court records show.

In 2004, he was arrested for possessing marijuana less than an ounce, a misdemeanor, and sentenced to alcohol and drug counseling and community service.

Coroner Grover Tuten, who said Gilbert was pronounced dead at 8:05 a.m., said the bullet fired into Bush's car "ricocheted" off her head.

According to the victim, who was able to talk to police at the hospital, the couple had broken up, but Gilbert wanted to get back together.

Bush said she saw him as she drove to work Tuesday, and he cut her off. Her car veered into a ditch, but she regained control and pulled into the parking lot. Gilbert got out of his car and shot at her through the car window. The suspect fired three shots. Two shots exited the front driver and passenger windows and one shot hit the victim in the head, police said.

The gun used was a .38 caliber, Chew said.

"It's definitely been an active week," Chew said. "We've had five homicides last week, and we started out with a shooting (Monday) as far as someone getting shot at a club. We need to get the guns off the streets. We're doing what we can and the best we can."

Covidien is Richmond County's second-largest manufacturing employer with more than 800 employees.

It makes the Kendall brand of disposable medical supplies.

The plant was once known as Tyco Healthcare, which spun off from Tyco International in 2007 and was renamed Covidien.

Lisa Clemence, the communications manager for Covidien, said the company was "saddened by the tragedy that occurred this morning at our Augusta facility."

Staff Writer Bianca Cain contributed to this article.

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