Authorities: Highway gunman in Bristol, Tenn. motivated by police shootings

BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has released the name of the suspect behind Thursday morning’s random shooting in Bristol, TN that claimed the life of an area newspaper carrier and injured three others, including a local police officer.

The TBI says 37-year-old Lakeem Keon Scott was armed with at least two weapons, an automatic-style rifle, a pistol and a large amount of ammunition.

According to the TBI, those injured include:

  • Jennifer Rooney ( A Bristol Herald Courier newspaper carrier) : Killed after being shot while driving in her vehicle on Volunteer Parkway.
  • Deborah Watts: In serious, but stable, condition at BRMC (Bristol Regional Medical Center), after being shot while working at the Days Inn.
    Officer Matthew Cousins (Source: Bristol Tennessee Police Department website)
    Officer Matthew Cousins (Source: Bristol Tennessee Police Department website)
  • David Whitman Davis: Received minor injuries at the scene after being injured by flying glass resulting from the gunfire.
  • Officer Matthew Cousins: Sustained a superficial wound to the leg. Was subsequently treated and released from BRMC.

Preliminary findings indicate Scott may have targeted people and officers after being troubled by recent events involving African-Americans and law enforcement officers in other parts of the country.

Investigators spoke with Scott Friday morning. Agents say “the work to develop a thorough understanding of his motivation for this incident remains central to the ongoing investigative work.”

Around 2:20 a.m. Thursday morning, investigators say he fired shots through the window of Days Inn on Volunteer Parkway, striking Roberts, a clerk at the motel.

Scott randomly shot at drivers along Volunteer Parkway before he was confronted by officers from the Bristol, TN Police Department.  Investigators say Scott fired at the three responding officers. Officers returned fire, hitting Scott, who was then taken to the Bristol Regional Medical Center where he remains in serious but stable condition.

The TBI is investigating the circumstances surrounding this random shooting at the request, they say, of Second District Attorney General Barry Staubus.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, and Bristol Tennessee Police Department are also assisting the TBI with this case.

News Channel 11 is following this story, we’ll post more details shortly.

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