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4 arrested in reported shooting

Edward Sargent (Photo contributed by law enforcement)

By Richard Rourk

A reported shooting in Erwin during the early morning of June 9 led to charges against four individuals.

According to Erwin Police Sergeant Todd Wilcox, Edward Sargent, 21 of Erwin, drove a truck down Second Street and allegedly shot at a group of individuals.

“Two shots ricocheted and actually struck two victims, but they have been treated at the hospital and sent home,” Wilcox told The Erwin Record. “Our officers actually heard the shots from the Erwin Police Department at approximately 2 a.m. and responded quickly. We were able to pull the suspect over at the Unicoi County Board of Education building.”

Sargent was charged with five counts of second degree attempted murder and one count of tampering with evidence, according to law enforcement.

Gwendolyn Cooper, Jamie Davis and Taylor Payne were charged with accessory after the fact for allegedly helping to conceal the guns Sargent reportedly used and for concealing information about the shooting, according to Wilcox.

“They were charged with accessory after the fact,” Wilcox said. “We were able to recover a few guns from the pickup truck.”

According to Wilcox, the investigation continues, but there doesn’t appear to be a threat to the community going forward.

“This case is ongoing; it does appear to be an isolated incident as one of the victims and the suspect had previously known each other,” Wilcox said. “Our officers responded swiftly and safely to the call and ended what could have been a dangerous situation.”

Erwin Police Chief Regan Tilson said he was very proud of the response by his officers and is ecstatic that everyone is safe.

“Our officer response was swift and the officers had the suspects in custody just minutes after the time the shots were fired,” Tilson said. “I am extremely happy with the speed and proficiency in which the officer responded and handled the situation. This type of crime is scary and dangerous and will be met with a swift response by this department. We are happy the injuries were not more serious and the investigation is ongoing by our criminal investigators.”

All four suspects are scheduled to appear in court on July 23 at 9 a.m.