Just Concluded: Knoxville Press Conference

Jim Burroway

July 28th, 2008

Jim D. AdkissonKnoxville police chief  Sterling Owen has just concluded a press conference, in which he provided a few additional details about yesterday’s mass shooting at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.

According to Chief Owen, Jim David Adkisson had spent at least a week planning the attack, based on the four-page letter that was recovered from Adkisson’s vehicle. The shotgun was purchased about a month ago. The police spokesman said that Adkisson was frustrated over not being able to find an job, and that he “hated the liberal movement.” Owen targeted TVUUC because of some “recent publicity” the church had received regarding its “liberal stance on things,” but he would not provide any further details. They are investigating the crime as a possible hate crime.

Chief Owen credited the actions of church members who tacked the shooter, saying that they saved many lives. It appeared the shooter wanted to kill as many people as possible and did not expect to leave the church alive. Two congregants were killed in the attack. Five remain hospitalized; four are in critical condition and one serious.

See also:
Knoxville Gays On Edge; Local MCC Church Wants To See Letter
Relief Fund Set Up for Knoxville Churches
Thoughts and Prayers for Knoxville Shooting Victims
Knoxville Shooting Witness’s First-Hand Account
Knoxville Shooter Hated “Blacks, Gays, Anyone Different”
AFA Approved Comments: Knoxville Church Doing “Satan’s Work”
Knoxville Shooter Hated “Liberals,” Gays
Just Concluded: Knoxville Press Conference
Knoxville Shooter’s Manifesto Found
Gunman Opens Fire On Gay-Friendly Church, Two Killed

queerunity

July 28th, 2008

was it just me or was the police chief afraid to say the word gay? its obvious that this man targeted the UU’s for their liberal stance on homosexuality not because liberals took his job. I think there was some bias in the police coverage.

Jim Burroway

July 28th, 2008

The church reportedly had also taken some controversial stances on immigration. Until we learn more about the contents of the letter, it will be hard to know what particular issues set Adkisson off.

Jason D

July 28th, 2008

Jim,
Good point, it might have been several issues. If this had been an MCC church, you could make the claim that it was solely homosexuality, but the UUC is very open and accepting of a variety of people and ideas.

For now, I think it would be best to send good vibes to the victims and their families, and let the police detectives do their job.

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