A security officer is involved in a double shooting outside a West Knoxville jewelry store that sent two people to the hospital Saturday afternoon.
KPD spokesman Darrell DeBusk said officers were called to the parking lot of Markman's Diamonds and Jewelry store on Kingston Pike around 2:30 p.m. to investigate a report of a domestic dispute. Before the police arrived, the situation had escalated into a shooting involving the Markman's security guard.
Witnesses said 22-year-old Mark Bowman and 18-year-old Elizabeth Day were arguing while driving east on Kingston Pike. The couple pulled into Markman's, got out of the car, and continue arguing in the parking lot and a grassy area between the jewelry store and Papa John's. Employees called police to report the domestic dispute.
Police said the security guard was posted at Markman's but is employed by Vinson Guard Service. DeBusk said the guard, whose name is not being released, shot Bowman and Day in the parking lot. Witnesses said after the shooting, Bowman was face-down in the parking lot and unable to get up. Day reportedly ran into the jewelry store.
The victims were taken to UT Medical Center, Day remains in stable condition, while no information is being released on Bowman.
The security guard was uninjured in the altercation. Police are not releasing the guard's identity at this time, but indicated he is in his 60's and has been employed with Vinson since 2006. Police have questioned and released the guard and will determine what, if any, charges will be filed in the case after meeting with the district attorney on Monday.
An eyewitness, Jimmy Proffitt, saw the shooting unfold from the nearby Papa John's Pizza parking lot.
I could hear loud voices. The security guard backs up and I could see he had his pistol out," said Proffitt. "Through the trees I could see and hear two shots fired. Not really quick behind each other, just pow... pow."
Proffitt added, "A few minutes later, he [the security guard] is backing up out of my view and the girl heads that way and I hear one more shot."
Vinson Guard Service is based in New Orleans. Its website says it is one of the largest privately owned security services in the nation. It operates 20 locations around the Southeast. The company says it provides armed and unarmed training for its guards.
"We are still investigating, as are the police, and we're not at liberty to make any kind of statement right now," said Vivian Bumgardner, manager of the Vinson Guard Service in Knoxville. "I am concerned for everyone involved, the two people injured and the security officer, as well."
Harold Markman owns Markman's Diamonds and Jewelry store. 10News reached Markman by phone Saturday but he did not wish to comment on the incident.