One critical after Fountain City shooting

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Police respond to a shooting on North Broadway in Fountain City on Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Jenna Stambaugh.

No charges have been filed in connection with a Tuesday afternoon shooting in North Knoxville that left one man fighting for his life at an area hospital, authorities said. 

The incident happened about 4 p.m. in the 4800 block of North Broadway, according to police and witnesses.

After responding to a reported shooting, Knoxville Police Department officers found the victim lying in the road with at least one gunshot wound, said KPD spokesperson Scott Erland. 

The suspect had apparently driven away from the scene, Erland said, and the officers rendered aid to the victim until an ambulance could rush him to the University of Tennessee Medical Center. 

The victim, a 52-year-old man, was listed in critical condition.  

“Violent Crimes Unit investigators have identified all of the involved parties from the shooting,” Erland said in a statement issued late Tuesday night. “No charges have been filed at this time and the investigation is continuing.”

Erland didn’t say if the suspect had been taken into custody or questioned about the shooting.

The gunfire shattered an otherwise calm afternoon in the normally placid neighborhood of Fountain City.

Alvin Harper, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, said he was grabbing some doughnuts at the Krispy Kreme with his parents when he heard three gunshots. They seemed to be coming from Broadway, where rush hour traffic had slowed to a halt.

Alvin said he saw the victim, who was behind the wheel of a pickup truck, step out of the vehicle and collapse in the road. It appeared as though the shots had come from a gray sedan driven by a male suspect who sped away from the scene.

Alvin, who served in Afghanistan, used the medical training he’d received in the Marines to stabilize the shooting victim while waiting for first responders to arrive. 

“I noticed his arm was bleeding first and tried to take care of it but then I saw that the guy was hit in the abdomen,” he said. “I applied pressure to the wound until the EMTs got there.”      

While Alvin worked on the stricken man, his mother — 58-year-old Suzy Harper — got into her own pickup truck and tried to catch up with the fleeing sedan. She called E-911 and relayed what happened to a dispatcher while trying to following the suspect’s car, but eventually she lost it near Adair Drive. 

After speaking with KPD investigators in the parking lot of Advance Auto Parts, Suzy said tearfully that it appeared to be a senseless act of violence.

“That man got shot for no reason,” she said. “I have kids and grandbabies.  I just pray that if this happens to them, someone would chase the shooter down.  Knoxville has turned into a hellhole.”

“I’m too old for this,” she added. 

Alvin said he hoped to visit the victim at the hospital.

“I just couldn’t not do anything,” he said. “He needs justice.”

J.J. Stambaugh can be reached at jjstambaugh@hardknoxwire.com.

Jennifer Stambaugh can be reached at news@hardknoxwire.com

Published on October 27, 2021