Knoxville hits 18 homicides this year

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This year’s unprecedented wave of violence on the streets of Knoxville claimed another life Monday when a man was gunned down in broad daylight, authorities said.

The man — whose identity wasn’t released by police on Monday — was found inside a vehicle on Louise Avenue, according to Knoxville Police Department spokesperson Scott Erland.

KPD officers were dispatched about 1:15 p.m. to check out a report that gunfire had broken out on the narrow side street near Austin-East Magnet High School.

When the officers arrived they found the victim dead inside a white pickup truck that was in the street outside of a house at 2710 Louise Ave., Erland said. 

The victim had sustained “at least one gunshot wound,” he said. 

“Violent Crimes Unit investigators responded to the scene to begin the investigation, which is in the preliminary stages. There is no suspect information at this time,” Erland said.

Monday’s bloodshed brought the number of homicides thus far this year in Knoxville to 18, Erland said. There have also been an additional five killings in the unincorporated areas of the county under the jurisdiction of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

As of this time last year, there had been 13 killings in the city. There were 37 homicides in Knoxville in 2020, more than the previous high of 35 in 1998. 

In addition to the sheer number of homicides, another unusual feature of the most recent surge of violence is that guns have been used in every case in both the city and county, according to law enforcement officials.

Anyone with information about Monday’s homicide is urged to contact East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. Tipsters will remain anonymous.

J.J. Stambaugh can be reached at jjstambaugh@hardknoxwire.com 

Published on May 18, 2021