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Agencies seeking information in I-81 shootings

From Staff Reports

A car carrying a family was fired upon on I-81 in East Tennessee, according to officials. Agencies are seeking information into several shootings. (Contributed photo)
A car carrying a family was fired upon on I-81 in East Tennessee, according to officials. Agencies are seeking information into several shootings. (Contributed photo)

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security and Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) Criminal Investigation Division (CID) along with The Tennessee Fusion Center (TFC) is providing this Request for Information (RFI) in an attempt to identify agencies that have any reporting of vehicles being shot while traveling on Interstate-81 in Eastern Tennessee. The agencies are also seeking the public’s assistance with any information that will lead to arrest of the individual(s) involved in this incident.  

On Friday, Sept. 9, at approximately 10:50 p.m., a commercial vehicle was traveling north on I-81 near mile marker 17 when a small car passed. The commercial vehicle driver described seeing a bright flash inside the passing vehicle, and believed it to be muzzles flash. THP responded to the location, however, neither the trooper nor the driver was able to locate a bullet hole.

On Sunday, Sept. 18, between 11:30 p.m. and midnight EST, occupants of an armored vehicle traveling north on I-81 heard a loud noise between the mile markers 4 and 20 and assumed a tire had blown. After reaching a destination in a nearby state, further inspection revealed a bullet impact on the passenger side of the cab.  

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, at approximately 9:08 p.m. EST, a bullet entered the front windshield of a vehicle, occupied by a family, traveling north on I-81 at mile marker 10.5.

The driver noticed a silver Toyota Camry that passed their vehicle prior to the incident with only one headlight.  It is unknown if that vehicle was involved.

The THP and TFC seeks to identify other jurisdictions that may have reports of vehicles having been shot at or that have evidence of bullet impacts after traveling on I-81 in Eastern Tennessee.

The agencies are also seeking to identify any information that may provide leads about the individual(s) that may be involved with the shooting of vehicles in the Hamblen and Jefferson Counties of Eastern Tennessee while traveling on roads or interstates.

Individuals and Law enforcement agencies with similar activities or information are requested to contact Sgt. Kevin Kimbrough, THP-Criminal Investigation Division at 426-6571, Detective Lieutenant David Stapleton with the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department is also assisting in the investigation and can be contacted at 586-3781.