‘These are not random incidents’: Johnson City police address recent shootings


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – An officer-involved shooting in the heart of the downtown area caused panic in Johnson City on Thursday night. The incident marked what is at least the fifth shooting in Johnson City in the span of a little over a month.

The first shooting happened on April 24 on the corner of Cherry and Spring Streets.

The next happened May 17 when police responded to Numan’s Cafe and Sports Bar. Officers said a man fired a gun inside the establishment, injuring an uninvolved person. On May 22, JCPD was called to Numan’s again. Police said a bullet shattered a window.

On Tuesday, a man was shot in the leg in the parking lot of Lowe’s.

Then on Thursday, a man armed with a handgun was shot during an interaction with police officers near Founders Park and a popular restaurant and brewery.

“That shouldn’t be happening in a small community like this. That’s not, that’s not safe,” one bystander told News Channel 11 on Thursday.

On Friday, the TBI said the investigation into the officer-involved shooting was ongoing. The TBI has not yet released any additional details on what led up to the shooting. No officers were injured.

The person shot has not yet been identified by authorities. On Friday morning, the TBI said the male subject remains hospitalized.

Investigative findings will be shared with District Attorney General Ken Baldwin, according to the TBI.

News Channel 11 reached out to Baldwin for more information about the shooting and has not yet received a response.

Johnson City police said the recent number of shooting incidents is not typical.

“It appears to just kind of be a statistical anomaly. Just an uptick,” said Sgt. Jim Tallmadge.

Tallmadge said the public shouldn’t be concerned or afraid.

“These are not random incidents, we don’t believe at this point…the people frequently know each other, have some prior relationship. So it’s not anything that most people need to be concerned with as far as just going down and being downtown,” he said.

Tallmadge said there is no common cause behind the incidents.

According to JCPD statistics, in 2019 there were four calls made to dispatch reporting shots fired in the downtown business district. In 2020, there were seven.

“A lot of people gather downtown. And when you have large numbers of people, you drive up the possibility of something like that happening,” said Tallmadge.

JCPD was unable to share more details on Thursday’s officer-involved shooting while the TBI’s investigation is underway.

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