Newspaper carrier dead, four injured including gunman, in Bristol, TN random shooting

A local newspaper carrier was killed in the random violence

BRISTOL, TN (WJHL) – The Tennessee Bureau Investigation revealed Thursday morning one person was killed and four others were injured, including the gunman, in a random shooting in Bristol, TN.

News Channel 11 confirmed, the woman who was killed in the random violence, was a local newspaper carrier.

The shooting took place early Thursday around 2 a.m. on Volunteer Parkway in Bristol, Tenn. near the Days Inn and O’Reilly Auto Parts store.

TBI revealed the shooter was armed with two guns and was firing shots at the Days Inn and motorists along Volunteer Parkway. As the officers arrived on the scene, he shot at law enforcement forcing them to return fire.

The victims and the suspect were taken to Bristol Regional Medical Center.

Sullivan County District Attorney Barry Staubus confirmed the officer injured in the shooting Thursday morning was released from the hospital Thursday night. The TBI has not yet released the officer’s name, but did confirm that he suffered minor injuries due to gunfire.

“During that exchange, the subject fired shots at three responding officers, after which the officers returned fire, striking the subject, he was injured and transported to Bristol Regional Medical Center, as were the other individuals injured in connection to this incident,” said TBI’s public information officer Josh DeVine.

44-year-old Jennifer Brewer Rooney

DeVine said Thursday morning the TBI would not release the name of the suspect or the names of the victims until the investigation is complete.

News Channel 11 reached out to Devine again Thursday afternoon to see if anything had changed.

“We have not released the identities of anyone involved at this time,” said DeVine. “We are ensuring the appropriate interviews and notifications have taken place before doing so.”

Meanwhile, TBI agents are working on developing investigative findings.

“Our investigation is working to determine the precise set of events,” said DeVine. “We believe the incident started at the Days Inn, followed by additional shooting at vehicles on Volunteer Parkway, and ending with the officers’ actions.”

Also, agents are trying to determine details such as how many rounds were fired during the random shooting on Volunteer Parkway – bordering the Twin Cities in Northeastern Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia.

“We have not finalized the number of shots fired or the specific type of weapons that were used in this incident,” said DeVine.

The Bristol Herald Courier told News Channel 11 its newspaper carrier, 44-year-old Jennifer Brewer Rooney, was killed in the shooting. Four others were injured including a Bristol, TN police officer.  BHC reports someone shot Rooney forcing her to crash into a fence.  Bristol Police Chief Blain Wade told News Channel 11 his officer’s injuries are minor. However, the extent of the injuries of the victims and the gunman are not known at this time.

“We are shocked and saddened that this individual lost their life in this senseless act of violence. Jennifer Rooney was a wonderful person. Her family are in our thoughts and prayers,” said Bristol Herald Courier publisher Jim Maxwell.

Investigators are also trying to determine what provoked the shooter to randomly shoot at motorists along Volunteer Parkway. So far, investigators have no motive.

“That’s still very much what we’re trying to determine, at this point, very clear would be inappropriate to speak to a possible motive on that front as well suffice it to say that something that we hope to hope to learn through our investigation,” said Josh DeVine.

In addition, officials are still trying to process vehicles that were involved in the shooting.

Multiple law enforcement agencies assisted, including the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Also, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office and the Bristol Virginia Police Department assisted the Bristol Tennessee Police Department with securing multiple crime scenes Thursday morning as TBI agents worked to gather evidence.

As it rained, TBI agents protected evidence with tents and even used a drone capture images of the crime scenes.

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms is working to trace the guns used in this crime and determine who actually owned them.

News Channel 11 spotted a hole, which appears to be a bullet hole, on the door of a Bristol, TN patrol car. That car and a few others appeared to be a part of one of the crime scenes sectioned off by yellow crime tape in front of the O’Reilly parking lot.

Early in the evidence gathering process, police closed off a section of Volunteer Parkway from Weaver Park to Melrose. The following is a map of where law enforcement activity is happening on the Volunteer Parkway:

In addition to the damage at O’Reilly and the Day Inn, a bullet damaged a vacant section of a building connected to State Farm and part of a sign at a pizza restaurant next door.

There is also damage outside Jones Animal Hospital from a vehicle that took out a utility pole and damaged parts of its retaining wall, fencing, and landscaping.

The animal hospital is not far from an SUV, News Channel 11 spotted, with its windows shot out.

We’ll have full team coverage and keep you updated throughout the morning as more information becomes available. Also, follow us on social media for the latest updates: Twitter | Facebook. We are using the hashtag #BristolShooting. For push alerts, make sure to download and turn on notifications on our WJHL News App.

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