Valerie Wells, Star of ‘Bayou Billionaires’ reality show was shot by her boyfriend in a fast food parking lot murder-suicide
47-year-old Valerie Dowden Wells, whose parents’ rags-to-riches tale is dramatized in CMT’s “Bayou Billionaires,” died after suffering multiple gunshot wounds in the parking lot of a McDonald’s restaurant in Shreveport, Louisiana.
“This is really hard on us and her children. It is out of order. No parents should have to go through this,” Wells’ parents, Kitten and Gerald Dowden, wrote on Facebook Tuesday morning.
Wells, was shot while sitting in her car in a restaurant parking lot by a man who then turned the gun on himself. The shooter, 46-year-old Robert Gaddy, was found in the parking lot suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was transported to hospital, where he later died.
Robert Gaddy shot Wells before turning the gun on himself
The single mother-of-three and Gaddy knew each other from high school and had recently started dating, according to police.
Wells, her parents, and her three siblings were part of a short-lived CMT reality show called “Bayou Billionaires.” The storyline was based upon the Dowden’s financial fortune from the Haynesville Shale natural gas development.
The family had struck it rich after learning that their home was sitting on the fourth biggest natural gas deposit in the country. The program which first aired in 2012 portrays the family exploring a lifestyle beyond their somewhat modest means, after “mailbox money” from mineral royalty checks empowered them.
The show’s executive producer, Brian Flanagan, was quoted as saying ‘The family of the mother of three is “not doing well” after her untimely death’.
“She was a sweetheart. Valerie suffered from MS, but she was incredibly strong,” Flanagan said.
“She was ill for a very long time but worked through it. She always had a smile on her face. She was sunshine walking through a room, and it’s incredibly sad news.”
Condolence messages have been pouring in on social media since her death was announced. Wells who worked in the public defender’s office in Mansfield. A friend recalled in a Facebook post how the “kind and giving” woman helped local families around the holidays.
A funeral service will be held at noon Friday at Rose-Neath Southside Chapel, with interment in Forest Park West Cemetery.