Two relatives called Mark Stephen Foster a "ticking time bomb." His mother allegedly didn't want him at her funeral.
When he walked out of the Inskip Elementary School principal's office Wednesday knowing he wouldn't have a job, police say he walked back in with a revolver and opened fire.
Knox County Schools officials received complaints about Foster months before the shooting
at the school that wounded the principal and assistant principal, but investigators turned up no hard evidence that would have justified firing him
, Superintendent Jim McIntyre said.
Luna initially considered calling in security for Wednesday's meeting, when she and Brace told Foster the school system wouldn't renew his teaching contract
. She changed her mind, McIntyre said. Minutes later, she and Brace lay wounded.
Foster "lured" the women into Luna's office just before 12:50 p.m., then shot each repeatedly with the revolver
, according to court records.
An anonymous tipster e-mailed school officials Nov. 16, claiming to be a relative of Foster's and calling him a violent man with a history of mental illness who'd been banned from the Waffle House in Clinton and his mother's funeral.
"He is very unpredictable and is a very dangerous person just waiting to go off," the tipster wrote. "I have personally seen him in action, and it's not a pretty sight."
The superintendent wouldn't say why the school system didn't renew Foster's contract but hinted the complaints and other problems helped shape that decision.
Foster had received a good evaluation for the 2008-2009 school year, his first year at Inskip. But six days before the shooting, administrators met with Foster about student complaints that he yelled at them and told them to shut up, records show. Four students asked to move to another class because Foster "is mean."
Foster told officials he'd "been under pressure recently." Luna told him not to take it out on the kids, and he promised to work on that.
A parent had complained in December that Foster grabbed his son's shoulder and tugged on him. Foster denied that claim.