7 PEOPLE SHOT AT CHURCH
Knoxville TN July 27 2008
Ntl. Assoc. Private Officers
Seven people were shot and critically wounded Sunday at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church on Kingston Pike. in Knoxville, Tenn.
A police spokeperson said that one of those shot has died while the others are in critical condition at area hospitals.
Knoxville television station WBIR reported that church members tackled the suspect and held him until police arrived.
A church member told the media that the suspect was not connected to the church. He also said that the shooting happened as children were performing parts of the musical “Annie” during a regular service.
None of the children were believed to have been injured.
The incident took place at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.
According to on scene reports, the suspect was described as a man with long blond hair, who appeared to be in his 40s, walked into the sanctuary and opened fiire with a shotgun, shooting indiscriminately.
At least six or seven people were hit by the gunfire. They have been transported to UT Medical Center. Two are believed to be in serious condition.
No children are believed to have been hit by the gunfire.
Members of the church were able to knock him down and subdue him and take away the firearm.
Church members heard a loud boom during the church service, which began around 10:15 a.m., the witness said. Several other loud booms followed, and the witness said the gunman seemed to be shooting randomly across a row of people. Two congregants tackled the gunman, he said.
Many people fled to the Second Presbyterian Church after the shooting, and that church was placed on lockdown, according to a 10 News crew at the scene. People have since been allowed to return to the Unitarian church building, where police are questioning witnesses.
Knoxville city police says the call came in at 10:18 am. The first officer arrived at 10:21 am. The suspect was taken into custody at 10:22 am. Police believe he is the lone suspect.
KPD officials says Mayor Haslam has been made aware of the event, and a press conference will be held later today.
More information about the church can be found at their website: www.TVUUC.org
At this time the suspect, who police have not released any information about and have not disclosed his name, is in police headquarters being questioned. He currently faces one count of murder and numerous charges of attempted murder.
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On July 25, 2008, in the early morning hours, a series of 20 search warrants, 12 arrest warrants, and 1 parole search were served at various locations.
On March 1, 2004, at about 10:50 a.m., eight suspects armed with assault-type weapons attacked armored car guard Evelio Suarez as he unloaded money bags from the truck. Suarez, 61, was shot multiple times and later died at a local hospital.
Over the last four years, detectives have connected a local street gang to this armored truck murder/robbery, as well as other murders, robberies, burglaries, narcotics trafficking, and other weapon-related offenses.
Representatives from the Los Angeles Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the California Department of Corrections, LA Impact, and the Southern California Drug Task Force served the warrants.
The simultaneous search warrant service resulted in the recovery of 2 firearms, small amounts of narcotics, a large sum of money, and 16 (12 Warrant and 4 miscellaneous) arrests for various offenses.
“Gang violence continues to plague too many of our communities and disturb the peace of too many neighborhoods, and we must do everything in our power to ensure public safety and bring the perpetrators of gang crime to justice,” Mayor Villaraigosa said.
“The warrants served this morning are an outstanding example of a collaborative effort to make our cities safe,” said Special Agent in Charge John A. Torres of ATF’s Los Angeles Field Division. “Violent crimes are ATF’s top priority and we will continue to work together with our law enforcement partners to identify, disrupt, arrest, and prosecute the most violent criminals.”
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Kenielle D. Finch is was arrested Friday night at a convenience store in the 8800 block of Old Third Street Road. He is charged with two counts of murder, assault, fleeing and evading police and tampering with physical evidence. Finch also booked outstanding bench warrants.
According to Metro Police, Finch was the man driving a car Friday afternoon that hit and killed two girls, ages 4 & 5, at Floyd and Warnock Streets near the UofL Belknap campus.
The incident started when Officer Darrell Hyche attempted to make a traffic stop at Floyd and Central around 5:45 p.m. As Hyche walked up to the car, Finch put the blue 1993 Pontiac Grand Am in gear and fled north on Floyd Street.
Hyche returned to his patrol car, called in a description of Finch’s vehicle and headed north on Floyd Street. After reaching the intersection at Floyd and Warnock, he found the two young girls who had been struck by a vehicle. The officer called for EMS and attempted to give the girls emergency first aid.
5-year-old Claudia Faye Wadlington was pronounced dead at the scene. 4-year-old Riley Jane Lawrence was by taken Metro EMS to Kosair Children’s Hospital where died around 6 p.m. The woman struck, Angie Wadlington, was the mother of Claudia. She was being treated at University Hospital for broken bones that will require surgery.
Metro Police found the Finch’s car abandoned in a grassy area north of the UofL Ulmer Stadium softball complex at Floyd and Cardinal Blvd. A search of the area was conducted using officers on foot and K-9 units.
Finch is being held at Louisville Metro Corrections