Two men sustained non-life-threatening bullet wounds Saturday morning at a house approximately 200 yards off Boatmans Mountain Road in West Hamblen County, and the unidentified shooter remains at large, according to the sheriff’s department.
Authorities are withholding the names of the injured men, but Detective Sgt. Jim Brooks confirmed both are in their early-to-mid-20s and do not live at the modest home where they were shot. Brooks also says the two were acquainted with each other.
One was hit three times in the abdomen, and underwent surgery at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville and hospitalized.
The other was treated at the same hospital for a single gunshot wound. He was discharged, but had to return for restitching when the wound opened up and bleeding resumed, according to Brooks, the lead investigator in the case.
The house and an adjacent mobile home are separated from Boatmans Mountain Road by a 200-yard gravel drive, and are not visible from the roadway.
Two women, a mother and her young-adult daughter, initially reported they were sleeping when the gunfire erupted around 10:20 a.m. Others were also there, according to Brooks.
Hamblen County Sheriff Esco Jarnagin says the investigative dilemma is not that nobody’s talking. Everybody is saying something, but their accounts of the events do not remotely resemble each other.
“They’re all over the radar screen,” Jarnagin said Saturday evening. “It’s like a shotgun pattern … all over the target. We will get to the bottom of it. We haven’t gotten to the bottom of it yet … We have a mess, an absolute mess.
Not surprisingly, the witnesses had different stories about the shooter. Brooks says he’s confident the two men didn’t shoot each other, but that’s about it.
“Nobody wants to tell us nothing,” Brooks said.
Deputies and detectives searched the area around the house, and did not recover a firearm. Deputy Sgt. Doyle Davis, Deputy Donnie Davis and Deputy Travis Edwards were the first to arrive. At least three detectives were called out to help.
Brooks says deputies have been to the house before while investigating other crimes.