Report: Kingsport police investigating shooting near church before unrelated officer-involved shooting occurred

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KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Kingsport Police Department was investigating a shooting near a church Sunday night when a separate police chase led to an officer-involved shooting.

According to a report from KPD, officers were called to the scene of a shooting near Ketron Memorial United Methodist Church on Virgil Avenue at 9:50 p.m.

The report states officers saw “blood in the street on Tiptop Avenue in front of the church near Virgil Avenue.” A shell casing was found in the road close to the blood and a hatchet, the report states.

KPD reports dispatch informed officers that the shooting victim, identified as Michael Cronan, was at Holston Valley Medical Center with his girlfriend, who was a witness to the shooting.

The caller told officers he had seen a silver car parked partly in the church’s parking lot and partially on the road.

According to the caller, there were four people in the vehicle. Not long after seeing the car, the caller reported hearing arguing outside and heard two shots fired.

“Further investigation revealed that known acquaintances had met on Virgil Avenue to resolve a disagreement,” according to a release from KPD. “An argument ensued which then escalated into a physical confrontation and culminated in shots being fired.”

The caller said he saw two people that had been in the vehicle leave and walk toward Lynn Garden Drive. The other two people reportedly left in the vehicle.

Two other witnesses, one of whom claimed to be Cronan’s brother, said they saw the incident and drove Cronan and his girlfriend to the hospital.

The report states the suspects are still unknown.

On Monday morning, KPD reports Cronan is still hospitalized, but his injuries appear to be non-life threatening.

While officers were still on the scene of the shooting, an SUV reported stolen approached the intersection of Tiptop Avenue and Virgil Avenue.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the SUV was involved in a pursuit with Hawkins County deputies and a Mount Carmel police officer.

TBI reports the SUV did not stop as it approached the blocked roadway that was part of the shooting investigation.

A Sullivan County deputy that was on the scene of the shooting fired shots that hit the driver of the SUV. The SUV crashed into a pole in the 200 block of Virgil Avenue.

The driver of the SUV was transported to the hospital for treatment. A passenger in the SUV was treated for minor injuries at the scene. No officers were injured.

The TBI is conducting an investigation into the officer-involved shooting.

Officers on the scene and District Attorney General Barry Staubus said the two incidents were unrelated.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call KPD at 423-229-9429.

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