Police investigators on Sunday continued to hunt for clues that could help them learn who killed a 34-year-old man whose body was found in East Knoxville.
The victim — identified as Matthew Scott, 34, of Knoxville — was found by the side of the road early Friday morning. His death was believed to be the city’s 28th homicide of the year.
He was found about 4:40 a.m. Friday when some University of Tennessee police officers were conducting a property check in the 2500 block of Riverside Drive, according to Knoxville Police Department spokesperson Scott Erland.
The UT officers spotted Scott lying unresponsive by the side of the road, Erland said. He appeared to have suffered at least one gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene.
“KPD Major Crimes Unit investigators and Medical Examiner’s Office personnel responded to the scene to begin the investigation, which remains in the preliminary stages,” Erland said.
It wasn’t clear if Scott was killed at the scene or if he was instead shot elsewhere and then dumped by Riverside Drive. Police didn’t release any information about the gun or discuss possible motives.
This year is on track to be the bloodiest since Knoxville began keeping crime statistics.
Since Jan. 1, there have been at least 28 slayings in the city, plus at least five more homicides in the unincorporated areas of Knox County under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s Office. That’s a 47 percent increase from this time last year.
Knoxville has been averaging about one homicide a week so far this year, which is nearly two-and-one-half times more than the 22 slayings per year that’s been the average over the past decade.
The unprecedented surge in killings began last year, when the number of homicides increased a remarkable 72 percent from 2019.
Erland said that anyone with information relevant to the investigation is urged to contact East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477, online at www.easttnvalleycrimestoppers.org or via the free mobile app P3 Tips.
Tipsters will remain anonymous and be eligible to receive a cash reward.
Published on July 26, 2021