|On Saturday, January 21, 2017 at approximately 11:45 PM, Kingsport Central Dispatch received virtually simultaneous notifications of two major incidents in close proximity to one another within the City of Kingsport.
An incident involving shots fired was reported at Bloomingdale Terrace Apartments, located at 124 Bloomingdale Road. Seconds later, a serious motor vehicle crash was reported less than a mile away in the 500 block of Jackson Street near the intersection of West Stone Drive. Officers from the Kingsport Police Patrol Division rushed to the scenes of both incidents.
Responding officers were almost immediately able to determine that the two incidents were connected. Due to the serious nature of their initial findings, Detectives from the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division along with Crash and Crime Scene Reconstructionists from the K.P.D. Traffic Unit were called in to investigate. Their resultant inquiry revealed the following:
A black male adult suspect, initially only identified by the nickname “Chop,” and a black male adult victim, who will not be publicly identified at this time, were both at Bloomingdale Terrace Apartments. At some point shots were fired, which resulted in the victim fleeing the complex in a gray Ford Focus with “Chop” giving chase in a white Chevrolet Impala.
The vehicles traveled along Bloomingdale Road and made a right turn to westbound West Stone Drive. Detectives have reason to believe that additional shots were fired along the way while the vehicles were in motion. The Ford occupied by the victim suddenly swerved off of Stone Drive, entered a yard in the 500 block of Jackson Street, and collided with a tree. The Chevrolet occupied by the suspect fled the scene.
Responding officers found the victim lying on the ground next to the Ford Focus. He was bleeding from the head from what was later determined to be a gunshot wound. Sullivan County E.M.S. responded and transported the victim to a local medical facility for emergency medical treatment. At the time of this news release, he remains hospitalized in critical condition with serious life-threatening injuries.
The investigation continued non-stop throughout the remainder of the night and into the following morning. Detectives developed probable cause to positively determine that “Chop” had fired the shot that struck the victim. On Sunday, January 22, 2017 at approximately 8:00 AM “Chop” was tracked down and taken into custody without incident in the Midfield area of Kingsport.
He was still traveling in the same white Chevrolet Impala from the earlier incident. At the time of his arrest, “Chop” was positively identified as James L. Powell, III. Mr. Powell was charged with Attempted First Degree Murder and incarcerated within the Kingsport City Jail. He remains confined, pending arraignment, with no current eligibility for bond.
While the specific motivators that spurred the altercation will not be disclosed, there is sufficient evidence to believe that this event was indeed drug-related. This incident continues to be thoroughly examined by both the Kingsport Police Department Criminal Investigations Division and Traffic Unit. As this remains an open and very active investigation, and in the interest of an untainted future prosecution, no additional details will be released at this time.