Guns and Gear

Police Say Mall Gunman Was Not Legally Allowed To Have A Gun


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The young gunman who opened fire in the Tanger Outlet Mall Tuesday was not legally allowed to own a handgun, according to police.

Leon Stevens Jones Jr., 21, was found dead at the scene after shooting two people in the Sevierville shopping center, killing one and wounding another, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported. He used a .32-caliber Kel-Tec semi-automatic pistol.

Jones was on probation for stealing an SUV in 2015. Under the terms of his probation, he was not allowed to possess a gun, nor was he allowed to reside in a dwelling with someone who did, according to the Sentinel.

Sevierville is a city in east Tennessee.

Sevierville is a city in east Tennessee.

Probation officers could not explain how Jones obtained the weapon. Tennessee Department of Correction spokesman Robert Reburn said that Jones was visited on April 5, and that no weapons were found at the time.

“He was not legally allowed to own a firearm,” Reburn said. “For all intents and purposes, he was compliant. He was doing what we expect of our offenders.” Jones’ probation term ended August 2020.

Bob Stahlke of the Sevierville Police Department said the investigation into the shooting was ongoing and would not address inquiries as to how Jones got the gun. (RELATED: Zoe Klopfer Shoots An AR-15 Without Using The Sights)

Olivia Cunningham, 24, was killed. Survivor John Marr, 75, was treated for a wound to the torso and released from the hospital. After shooting Cunningham and Marr, Jones shot himself in the head.

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