The Coffee County Sheriff’s Department is investigating an incident on Interstate 24 early Monday that ended in death by suicide of one man and the injury by gunshot of two women occupants in the vehicle.
According to Coffee County Sheriff’s Dept. spokesman Lucky Knott, the Coffee County Communication Center received a 911 call at approximately 5:30 a.m. Monday in which there was no voice at the other end of the call.
“A deputy was dispatched to the area around the 101-mile marker and found a Chevrolet Avalanche sitting on the shoulder of the road,” said Knott.
Knott said that a deputy spoke with the occupants of the vehicle for what they described as a few minutes, and then the driver pulled out a pistol and shot himself.
“The bullet passed through the driver and struck two females in the car,” Knott said.
According to Knott, the women’s injuries were non-life threatening and both were transported to hospitals for treatment of their injuries.
The dead man was identified as Jose Luis Garcia, 25, Nashville.
According to the sheriff’s spokesman, the other five occupants of the vehicle told investigators that Garcia had held them for six hours at gunpoint on the interstate before the shooting incident.
Investigators said Garcia and the others were traveling along I-24 from Chattanooga when he pulled over to the shoulder of the roadway.
According to investigators, Garcia was on was parole for aggravated robbery and there was an active parole violation warrant that had been issued for his arrest.
Sheriff’s investigators are continuing to investigate the incident.