Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Knoxville Church shooting top 2008 story in Knoxville News Sentinel

See the list here.

The eyes of the nation turned to Knoxville when a warm Sunday morning in July was disrupted by three shotgun blasts in a church along Kingston Pike near the University of Tennessee campus.

Unemployed truck driver Jim David Adkisson, police allege, pulled a 12-gauge semiautomatic shotgun from a guitar case he carried into the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. More than 200 people were crammed into the church at 2931 Kingston Pike for a special presentation of the children's musical "Annie Jr."

Two people were killed and six others were wounded in the 10:18 a.m. July 27 rampage.

Police said the 58-year-old Adkisson planned to continue shooting the sawed-off shotgun with the 76 shells he carried until he was killed by responding officers. Those plans were thwarted when several church members overpowered Adkisson as he reloaded the shotgun. They held him until police arrived.

Police said Adkisson targeted the church because his ex-wife had worshipped there and the church supported gay rights.

He is being held in jail in lieu of $1 million bond awaiting a March trial.

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