'Billionaire' Killed in Apparent Murder-Suicide at McDonald's

Valerie Dowden Wells starred in CMT's 'Bayou Billionaires'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2016 8:21 AM CST
Reality Star Killed in Apparent Murder-Suicide at McDonald's
Valerie Dowden Wells, right, and her three children.   (Bayou Billionaires/Facebook)

A star of CMT's short-lived reality-TV show Bayou Billionaires has died in an apparent murder-suicide. Police say Valerie Dowden Wells, 47, was attempting to exit a McDonald's parking lot in Shreveport, La., when she was shot multiple times in her car around 4pm Monday. Her car then "rolled out of the parking lot," police tell the Shreveport Times. Authorities identified the shooter as Robert Gaddy, 46, who was found suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a nearby parking lot, reports the Washington Post. Both Wells and Gaddy were pronounced dead at a hospital. Police, who haven't yet nailed down a motive, say the pair knew each other since childhood and may have been "formerly intimate."

However, Wells' 15-year-old daughter, Nikki, tells People that her mother had recently started dating Gaddy, who was jealous that Wells continued a cordial relationship with Nikki's father. "This is really hard on us and her children. … No parents should have to go through this," say Wells' parents, Kitten and Gerald Dowden, who secured a reality-TV deal after they discovered their home sat on a lucrative natural-gas deposit, the fourth largest in the country, per the New York Daily News; Bayou Billionaires last aired in 2012. Wells, a single mother of three with multiple sclerosis, "was the strongest person I knew," says her daughter. "She was my beautiful mother and I was her sparkle child. … We knew we loved each other very much." (More murder-suicide stories.)

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