Note: This story was last updated at 5:30 p.m.
A 20-year-old Oak Ridge man was arrested after police received several reports of shots fired in two neighborhoods in Oak Ridge this weekend and after a high-speed chase that went through several counties and cities on Sunday night, ending in Newport, authorities said.
The Oak Ridge Police Department said it first received a report that a black male suspect was chasing a male black victim on foot, firing a pistol, at about 11 p.m. Saturday, September 19.
Then, at about 3 a.m. Sunday, the ORPD responded to South Fisk Avenue in Scarboro, where residents reported multiple shots were fired into their home, which was struck at least twice, according to a city press release. The residents said they heard at least a dozen gunshots.
In the first incident, the ORPD said, a white Ford Escape with dealer tags was seen in the area, and in the second incident, this same vehicle was seen fleeing the area at a high rate of speed.
Then, at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, ORPD responded to a report of shots fired on Wakefield Road. The complainant said shots were fired toward an apartment building by a male black suspect, and a second male black perpetrator returned fire, which struck the tailgate off a parked truck. Both suspects fled the area, reportedly in a white SUV matching the description of the suspect vehicle in the previous incidents.
The mother of a fourth victim reported her son had been pistol-whipped by a male black suspect earlier that day, but the victim refused to cooperate in identifying the suspect or describing what occurred, the City of Oak Ridge said in the press release.
Later Sunday, at about 10:55 p.m, ORPD started pursuing a white Ford Escape driven by Debriael Hall, 20, of Oak Ridge, on South Illinois Avenue. ORPD continued the pursuit, which went through Knox County, Knoxville, Blount County, Sevier County, Sevierville, Jefferson County, Cocke County, and Newport, where Cocke County Sheriff’s Office personnel deployed spike strips, ending the pursuit at approximately 11:43 p.m., authorities said.
Hall was arrested by ORPD and transported to the Anderson County Detention Center in Clinton, where he was charged with multiple counts of reckless endangerment, aggravated assault, and felony evading, the ORPD said. Hall also faces numerous other traffic and criminal charges in other jurisdictions, the release said.
It said Jasmine Bullard, 20, of Knoxville, was also detained as a passenger in the vehicle.
During the pursuit, one ORPD car sustained damage when it was struck by the fleeing vehicle.
During the chase, officers reported pursuing Hall through Solway, down Interstate 40 East, on Middlebrook and Broadway in Knoxville, and Chapman Highway, among other roads, sometimes at speeds of up to 100 mph. Knox County joined the chase, and Blount and Sevier county authorities were notified as the pursuit proceeded down Chapman Highway.
The press release said the Oak Ridge Police Department wishes to thank all personnel from the Anderson County Crime Task Force, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Knoxville Police Department, Blount County Sheriff’s Office, Sevier County Sheriff’s Office, Sevierville Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office for their invaluable assistance during the pursuit.
The ORPD said the investigation remains ongoing, and no further information will be released at this time.
Hall has also been arrested in the past year for robbery and aggravated assault, according to jail records.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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