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Suspect arrested in alleged Unicoi shooting

According to local law enforcement, Clayton Decatur Justis has been arrested in connection with a reported shooting that occurred in Unicoi on Tuesday, April 28. (Contributed photo)

By Richard Rourk

Unicoi Police and the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department have reportedly made an arrest following an alleged home invasion and shooting.

According to Unicoi Police Chief Andy Slagle, Clayton Decatur Justis, 22, of Unicoi, was arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder, especially aggravated burglary, aggravated domestic assault and possession of a firearm during a dangerous felony. 

Justis is alleged to have been involved with a home invasion shooting at 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28, at 317 Massachusetts Ave. in Unicoi, that sent one victim to the hospital with a gunshot wound.

The victim, whose name hasn’t been released, was flown by Wings Medical Transport Service to the Johnson City Medical Center to be treated. The victim is currently in critical condition.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and their family at this time,” Slagle said. 

Slagle confirmed that the suspect and someone at the residence did know each other prior to the alleged incident and share a child together. 

According to Slagle, the suspect was apprehended in Washington County after he fled the scene. 

“Officer (Aaron) Embler got the call and was able to get on the scene quickly to assist the victim who appeared to have a gunshot wound to the chest,” Slagle said. “The suspect had already fled the scene. It took a group effort to locate and arrest the armed suspect quickly. We worked well with all involved including Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Carter County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney to respond: it truly was a team effort.”

Slagle acknowledged that his staff works hard and through hard work, they were able to act quickly. 

“I am blessed to have such a great group of officers here and they were excellent under extreme circumstances,” Slagle said. 

The suspect is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday, April 30, at the Unicoi County Courthouse and is currently being held under a $600,000 bond.