Deaths believed to be murder-suicide

Cocke County authorities are continuing their investigation into a Friday afternoon shooting incident in the Northport area of Newport they are describing as a murder/suicide.

Chief Cocke County Deputy CJ Ball said officers were dispatched to a residence on Pierce Road, near the Newport city limits, at 12:41 p.m. While headed to the scene, deputies and Newport officers were told one man had shot another, and the shooter was outside of the home armed with a gun. Upon arrival on the scene, officers heard a gunshot. Officers utilizing ballistic shields approached and entered the residence.

Inside the home, Ball said officers found the bodies of two males who had been shot at close range. The victims were transported to the Newport Medical Center and autopsies have been ordered.

The identities of the victims have not been released pending notification of family members.

Ball expressed his appreciation to the Newport police officers who assisted at the scene. The Newport/Cocke County SWAT team was activated but was not utilized because the event de-escalated prior to the team’s arrival.