Police believe a man found dead after a robbery in east Knoxville Wednesday night has been involved in other recent aggressive robberies in the area.
Justin Pierre Jackson, 30, was found dead in an alley on Holston Drive shortly after a robbery about a block away at the Dollar General Store at 4112 Asheville Highway.
The store manager shot at Jackson outside of the store as he left with cash.
Anthony Quinn Smith, 47, was not hurt. But Jackson was found dead a short time later.
Knoxville Police have not said whether Smith was prompted to go outside of the store in self defense, or if there was a struggle that caused Smith to fire his handgun. Investigators also have not said who fired first.
But in a conversation with reporters, Smith admits he fired first, and said the suspect fired one shot back.
Police have not said if Smith could face any charges connected with the shooting.
Investigators said Jackson was wanted for questioning in several recent armed robberies that grew increasingly more aggressive.
That list includes in the following recent robberies:
- Indi Sai #6 convenience store on Whittle Springs Road on Jan. 26
- Dollar General Store on Rutledge Pike on Feb. 5
- Kenjo Market on Sevierville Pike on Feb. 7
- Breadbox on Whittle Springs Road on Feb. 12
- CVS on Asheville Highway on Feb. 16
In the first case, a suspect went into the Indi Sai convenience store on Whittle Springs Road and demanded money from the clerk. The clerk then pushed the suspect, which started a struggle.
Surveillance video at the store gave police a detailed look at the suspect.
In another case, the suspect put a gun to the head of a female employee and told her he would kill her if she didn't give him money.
The suspect wore a sock on one hand while committing the robberies. A sock was used in Wednesday night's robbery and investigators found it near Jackson's body, police said.
Jackson has a criminal history that includes arrests for theft, drug charges and multiple aggravated assaults, according to the Knoxville Police Department.
Authorities continue to investigate Wednesday's robbery and the death of Jackson. When the investigation is completed, the file will be turned over to the District Attorney General's Office.