At the request of 2nd District Attorney General Barry Staubus, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding a series of shootings in Bristol Thursday that claimed the life of a woman and left four other individuals injured, including the alleged gunman.

TBI Agents and Forensic Scientists continue to work as aggressively, as quickly, and as carefully as possibly to process any and all relevant evidence and interviews to determine the exact series of events. Preliminarily, the investigation has revealed the subject, identified as Lakeem Keon Scott (DOB 12-15-78), 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 appears to have, at some point, indiscriminately fired at several vehicles driving on Volunteer Parkway before being confronted by officers from the Bristol, Tennessee police department. 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.

Those also injured in the incident include:

  • Jennifer Rooney: Deceased after being shot driving in her vehicle on Volunteer Parkway.
  • Deborah Watts: In serious, but stable, condition at BRMC, after being shot while working at the Days Inn.
  • David Whitman Davis: Received minor injuries at the scene after being injured by flying glass resulting from the gunfire.
  • Officer Matthew Cousins: Sustained a superficial wound to the leg. Was subsequently treated and released from BRMC.

The work to investigate the motivation for this incident remains active and ongoing. Preliminarily, 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. Late this morning, investigators had their first opportunity to speak with Scott, and the work to develop a thorough understanding of his motivation for this incident remains central to the ongoing investigative work. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, and Bristol Tennessee Police Department continue to offer their support and investigative resources.

As the investigation continues, the TBI will submit findings to the District Attorney General for his further review and consideration.

The TBI would like to reiterate there is currently no public safety threat to the Bristol community. The ongoing investigation indicates the alleged gunman acted alone. Anyone with specific information about the incident or the individual believed to be responsible may contact the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the injured and their families.