Tenn. Law Enforcement: Highway Gunman Motivated By Recent Police Shootings

Kerry Picket Political Reporter

A man who opened fired on police officers Thursday afternoon on a Tennessee highway did do so because he was angered by recent police-involved shootings of black people, according to state law enforcement authorities.

Lakeem Keon Scott was accused of shooting at passing cars and a police squad car on a Tennessee highway. Scott, who is black, was later injured in the shootout with police and is currently being hospitalized. He has not yet been charged. All those shot were white, police confirmed with the Associated Press

Jennifer Rooney died after being shot driving in her vehicle on Volunteer Parkway.

Deborah Watts, Days Inn clerk David Whittman Davis, and Officer Matthew Cousins were all wounded in the shooting, but later treated at a local hospital.

According to a press release from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, “the investigation reveals Scott may have targeted individuals and officers after being troubled by recent incidents involving African-Americans and law enforcement officers in other parts of the country.”

TBI states that Scott was armed with at least two weapons “(an automatic-style rifle and a pistol) and a large amount of ammunition at approximately 2:20 Thursday morning when he fired shots through the window of the Days Inn on Volunteer Parkway, striking the clerk.”

Scott also began to fired at several vehicles driving on Volunteer Parkway before officers from the Bristol, Tennessee police department arrived on the scene.

“During that exchange, the investigation shows Scott fired at the three responding officers, after which the officers returned fire, striking Scott, who was subsequently transported to Bristol Regional Medical Center, where at the time of this release, he remains in serious, but stable, condition,” TBI says, confirming “there is currently no public safety threat to the Bristol community. The ongoing investigation indicates the alleged gunman acted alone.”

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