Published: August 31, 2015
Tennessee Shooting, Authorities say a 19-year-old man dressed in a camouflage jacket and armed with a high-powered rifle gunned down his mother, step-father and grandmother at his family’s home in eastern Tennessee.
Sullivan County Sheriff Wayne Anderson says six children witnessed the carnage Saturday evening near Bristol, Tennessee.
Anderson said Monday the suspect, Robert Seth Denton of Bristol, was packing about 100 rounds of ammunition during the surprise attack.
Denton is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, aggravated assault and felony reckless endangerment.
The sheriff says Denton’s grandfather chased the suspect down a long driveway and shot him once in the arm. Anderson says the grandfather had been in a nearby trailer during the shootings. He says Denton walked up to the grandfather and told him he needed to call 911.
Leading up to the rampage, the assailant parked his vehicle nearby, walked up a steep hill and opened fire when he reached the house near Bristol, Tennessee, Anderson said Sunday.
“From what I’ve seen and heard, he just took ’em by surprise,” Anderson said. “It just all happened real fast.”
Two women with gunshot wounds were found in the kitchen when authorities arrived Saturday evening, he said. They were pronounced dead at the scene.
The man found on the front porch with gunshot wounds was airlifted to a hospital, where he later died, the sheriff said.
“It’s the most horrific thing I think I’ve seen,” Anderson said.
Investigators were trying to determine a motive.
The six children were in the living room when the rampage began and witnessed the shootings, the sheriff said.
One child suffered a non-life threatening injury, Anderson said.
“There might be some shrapnel or something else that entered her leg as a result of the shooting,” he said. “He didn’t turn the gun on her. Something ricocheted or a fragment went into her leg.”
Darrell Grey said he was on his patio next door when the shooting began. He said he heard a barrage of 10 to 12 gunshots and screaming. The rampage lasted less than a minute, he said.
“Everything happened so fast,” he said in a phone interview Sunday. “It was just a barrage of ‘pow, pow, pow.'”
It’s not unusual to hear gunshots from hunters in the rural area, Grey said.
“But this time we knew it was something different because it was too many shots together,” he said.
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