Breaking News
More () »

'He's a hero' | Knoxville man shot and killed Friday after trying to calm someone down in a domestic fight

"The way John Mack died, people say he's a hero," said his family.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Knoxville Police Department responded to calls about a domestic dispute on the corner of Texas Avenue and Pascal Drive on Friday afternoon. The dispute turned into a deadly shooting.

A report from KPD said a man named Roshaun Smith started an argument with his child's mother, Renee Chase. He was reported to be intoxicated and waving around a handgun.

According to police reports, Smith started making threats to Chase. It got to the point where witnesses took notice and even tried to calm him down.

One of those witnesses was John Mack, known by family and friends as "Apache."

According to reports, Mack tried to persuade Smith to calm down and go home.

"The defendant has the handgun in this incident and was seen by witnesses waving it around, disregarding the safety of everyone nearby," the report said.

That's when the gun went off. Mack was shot in the head.

"The way he died, people say he's a hero," said Cylk Cozart, Mack's uncle. "He tried to help a girl, a young lady, and unfortunately, he was shot, shot in the head and was on life support for a couple of days."

He said that the two of them were close. His nephew always had big dreams, and he strived to accomplish all of them. One of Mack's dreams was to be a father. He loved his two little girls.

Credit: Cylk Cozart

"One day, he told me he wanted to be an actor like I am. So, we talked about it," Cozart said. "That was one of  the memories I have, and just the fact that he didn't get a chance to do that."

But, the thing keeping this uncle so strong is knowing Mack's death wasn't meaningless.

"That is the number one thing that makes the anger dissipate, is his spirit. If he just died, it would have been in vain. But it wasn't, because he helped another individual," Cozart said.

Cozart wants the community to take something away from his nephew's death. He wants the violence to end.

"It has to stop. The violence has to stop. It has to stop. And it starts at home," Cozart said.

Roshaun Smith, the man who shot Mack is facing four felony charges, two of which include domestic assault and reckless homicide.

Due to John Mack's unexpected death, the family is facing the financial burden of a burial. They set up a GoFundme for anyone who feels compelled to donate.
Even after Mack’s passing, his heroism will live on through organ donation. 

"Our hero will live on through all of us as well," the GoFundMe said.


Before You Leave, Check This Out