Fatal stabbings, officer-involved shooting at Tennessee truck stop under investigation

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Knox County Sheriff’s Department received a call reporting a stabbing at the Pilot Travel Center on Strawberry Plains Pike in Knoxville, Tennessee, shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday (April 7). Upon arrival, officers found four victims and, during an encounter with the male suspect, the suspect was shot by an officer.

The man, who was armed with a knife, was identified by witnesses as the suspect. When confronted by officers, the suspect refused to drop the weapon, according to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Leslie Earhart.

“At some point during the encounter, one of the officers fired shots, striking the individual. He was pronounced dead at the scene,” Earhart said in a press conference following the incident.

Earhart said there were four people stabbed during the incident. Three were reported dead at the scene; the fourth was transported to a local hospital. The condition of that individual is currently unknown.

Earnhart confirmed that some of the victims were employees at the travel center.

The crime scene includes the interior of the store as well as the surrounding property, and Earhart estimates that the on-scene investigation, which she said was being conducted by TBI field agents as well as agents from the drug-investigation division and the agency’s forensic scientists, will take a few hours.

In an earlier interview, Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler said the officer involved in the shooting is OK and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will be responsible for further information and investigation in the case.

“This remains an active and ongoing investigation. As always, we’ll be sharing our findings with the district attorney general,” Earhart said.


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