Police: Man shoots randomly at Tennessee motorists, 1 dead; 4 hurt

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) – A newspaper carrier was killed and four other people were wounded when a man opened fire on cars traveling along a parkway in East Tennessee early Thursday morning.

A police officer responding to the shooting was among those wounded.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesman Josh DeVine said the suspect was armed with at least two weapons. He fired shots just after 2:15 a.m. at a Days Inn on Volunteer Parkway, then opened fire on passing motorists. DeVine said he then fired on responding officers, who returned fire and wounded the shooter.

Jennifer Rooney, a 44-year-old mother who delivered the local newspaper, was driving to pick up papers for the morning delivery when she was shot and killed, according to Bristol Herald-Courier publisher Jim Maxwell.

He called it a “senseless act of violence” that has stunned the small city on the Virginia border.

“Residents of our community woke up to what was expected to be a typical July warm and humid morning, except today they were greeted with news of this extremely troubling event,” Maxwell wrote. “It’s like the crazy stuff you read about or see on television from other places suddenly and unexpectedly materialized here in our backyard. Things like this just don’t happen here.”

The paper reported that Rooney had worked there for nearly a year.

Rooney’s family declined to comment.

The suspect and the other wounded people were taken to the Bristol Regional Medical Center. Bristol Police Chief Blaine Wade said the officer’s injuries were minor.

Police declined to identify the shooter or speculate on his motive as they continued to investigate several crime scenes along the busy highway.

“We’re working as aggressively, as quickly and as carefully as possibly to gather any and all relevant evidence to determine the exact set of events,” DeVine said in a statement.



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