Knoxville/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 19, 2024
Suspect Charged in Deadly Knoxville Shooting Rampage Spanning Downtown AreaSource: Knoxville County Sheriff's Office

A spree of fatal violence erupted near downtown Knoxville, with two individuals pronounced dead following separate shootings early Saturday morning. The Knoxville Police Department reported that the incidents are believed to be linked, with a suspect now facing multiple charges in the deadly sequence of events.

The chaos began at Anderson Automotive & Towing on Cooper Street around 9 a.m. when officers responded to a shooting. Upon arrival, a man was discovered "suffering from at least one gunshot wound,” and despite being rushed to the hospital, he succumbed to his injuries, according to the WVLT report. It appears the victim was answering an alarm at the business when he encountered the assailant and was subsequently shot. The suspect is alleged to have fled in the victim's car, a black Kia Sorento.

A second shooting was reported in the 400 block of N. Broadway, where KPD officials found another man shot at least once. He was transported to the hospital, where he was announced dead, WBIR detailed. Detectives indicated that this incident is "directly connected" to the earlier shooting.

In an intensive search, authorities located the stolen vehicle from Anderson Automotive and attempted to intercept it, although the driver did not comply, leading to a brief pursuit, police then lost sight of the suspect near Dandridge Avenue, however, the car was subsequently found parked on Morningside Drive. Nearby, 28-year-old Robert Scruggs was detained, and now faces charges of felony murder in the shooting at Anderson Automotive, first-degree murder on N. Broadway, especially aggravated robbery, carjacking, business burglary, and two counts of felony evading arrest. This information was confirmed by a WATE article. The police have not yet determined a motive behind these tragic shootings.

The Knoxville Police Department's efforts to unravel these incidents continue, as the local community grapples with the sudden and brutal loss of two of its members. As of now, the suspect remains in custody with the charges standing as a stark reminder of the day's grim toll on the city.