Two injured as man exchanges gunfire with burglars
A 73-year-old East Hamblen County man shot in the face and shoulder during a frenzied exchange of shotgun fire Saturday night escaped serious injury and left a metal remembrance in the left hip of one of two alleged home burglars from Cocke County, a detective said this morning.
One shotgun pellet broke the left cheek bone of Long Creek Road resident Don Grubb and at least one pellet lodged in his right shoulder, according to Detective Sgt. Statler Collins with the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department.
Despite the potentially life-threatening head injury, the senior citizen was treated at Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System and released, according to Collins, who says 11 shots were fired during the thwarted home burglary.
Grubb hit one of the suspects, Tyler Scott Trivett, 22, Seventh Street, Newport, in the left hip, but Trivett managed to temporarily elude arrest, but was taken into custody later at the Old Solomon Ferry Road residence of his codefendant, 21-year-old Clyde Austin Webster.
Grubb got the drop on Webster and held him at shotgun point until deputies arrived shortly before midnight on Saturday.
Collins charged Trivett and Webster with aggravated burglary, aggravated assault and theft over $500. Both remained in the Hamblen County Jail this morning without bond.
The target of the home burglary was Grubb’s granddaughter, Monica Grubb, who lives in a house with her husband approximately 100 yards from her grandfather’s house on Long Creek Road, less than a mile north of the Nolichucky River, according to Collins.
The detective says either Trivett or Webster knew Mrs. Grubb from work and was aware she and her husband were on vacation.
Mr. Grubb was alerted that something was amiss by his dog, which began barking around 11:40 p.m. Saturday. He quickly dressed and retrieved his shotgun after noticing a vehicle park near his barn between his house and his granddaughter’s home, according to Collins.
The senior citizen first believed his barn was the target, but spotted the two men as they emerged from his granddaughter’s home carrying two stolen .12-gauge shotguns, according to Collins. The detectives said approximately 30 yards separated Grubb from Trivett and Webster when the shooting started.
Webster allegedly admitted firing a shotgun at Grubb. Collins says he hasn’t ruled out the possibility both fired at Grubb.
Webster was also charged with simple possession of marijuana after authorities allegedly found about a half-gram of marijuana in his vehicle. Also in the vehicle, deputies found tools that were reported stolen from a house under construction in Cocke County.
Trivett headed south across the Nolichucky River in an effort to reach his car, which was parked at Webster’s home where the defendant was arrested by Hamblen County deputies. Collins says Trivett was covered in scratches he sustained while running through the woods in the dark.
An emergency room doctor at Lakeway Regional Hospital removed the shotgun pellet from Trivett’s hip.
The Knox County Sheriff’s Department sent a spotlight-equipped helicopter to search for Trivett, but the aircraft was useless in locating the defendant beneath the thick tree canopy, and was headed for home when he was arrested.
-By Robert Moore, Tribune Staff Writer