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West Town shoppers describe moments after shooting

11:11 AM, Nov 2, 2012   |    comments
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Some shoppers inside the West Town Dillards said they did not hear the single shot fired from a KPD officer from the parking lot Thursday evening. Instead, they saw police lights and ambulances around the busy West Knoxville mall.

"I was definitely scared of being outside. Should I turn around, go back in?" shopper Mycah Bernius said. She was inside the department store at the time Knoxville Police responded to a domestic dispute outside, leading to an officer-involved shooting.

KPD spokesman Darrell DeBusk said officers responded to a report of a woman running from a male attacker. When police arrived, an altercation took place between an officer and the suspect.

The officer ultimately shot the suspect during the altercation.

"The suspect was taken to UT Medical Center where he's undergoing treatment currently. The officer has been also transported to UT, which is standard procedure. The officer was not injured," DeBusk said.

A toddler was inside the vehicle at the time, but neither the child, nor the woman were hurt.

DeBusk could not go into further details pending the investigation.

However, Bernius was concerned over the heavy police presence, which she had no idea what it was about at the time.

"Just awful, you don't see that stuff happen here," Bernius' friend Cheslea Jones said, who was picking her up.

Names of the suspect and officer will be released once family members have been notified. KPD did confirm is the suspect is around 30 years old.

Previous Story: "KPD says domestic dispute led to shooting"

What began as a domestic dispute led to an officer-involved shooting in the parking lot of West Town Mall Thursday evening, Knoxville police said.

At 5:22 pm, officers responded to a report of a man trying to drag a woman into a car outside the Dillard's store near Kingston Pike and Montvue Rd.

KPD spokesman Darrell DeBusk said when police arrived, an altercation took place between an officer and the suspect, a man who is approximately 30 years old.

The officer ultimately shot the suspect, who was taken to UT Medical Center with what appear to be non-life threatening injuries.

The officer was also taken to the hospital as a precaution, which KPD said is normal procedure.

The woman who was being dragged by the suspect had a child with her. She, along with witnesses were interviewed by investigators after the incident.

Police could not say what condition the suspect was in at the hospital, but everyone else is expected to be okay.

Names of the suspect and officer will be released once family members have been notified.

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