Tennessee FBI: Bristol shooter may have targeted officers and individuals

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations said Friday that the man who shot four people, killing one woman, may have targeted officers and individuals because of the recent officer-involved shootings involving blacks.

Jennifer Rooney was shot and killed while driving her vehicle on Volunteer Parkway in Bristol. Police say the man who shot her was Lakeem Keon Scott. Scott is also accused of shooting Deborah Watts, a clerk at the Days In, where the shootings occurred; and Officer Matthew Cousins, who received a superficial leg wound while responding to the scene. David Whitman Davis received minor injuries at the scene after being hit by flying glass from the gunfire.

TBI agents and forensic scientists working the case say that Scott was armed with at least two weapons – an automatic-style rifle and a pistol – and a large cache of ammunition. Officers responded to the scene at approximately 2:20 a.m. Thursday when Scott fired shots from a window at the Days Inn on Volunteer Parkway. His first shots struck Watts.

The report from the TBI said that Scott appears to have randomly fired more shots towards vehicles on Volunteer Parkway before engaging with police from the Bristol Police Department. In the exchange, both Scott and Officer Cousins were hit. Scott, Cousins and Watts were transported to Bristol Regional Medical Center.

Scott was reported in stable condition. Watts is reported in serious, but stable condition. Cousins was treated and released.

The preliminary investigation said that Scott may have targeted individuals and officers after being troubled by recent incidents involving blacks and law enforcement officers across the country. Investigators spoke to Scott Friday morning to develop a more thorough understanding of Scott’s motivation for the shootings.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office and the Bristol Police Department are working jointly on the case.