On Sunday afternoon, Grundy County Sheriff’s deputies were called to 12466 SR 56, in Altamont, with a report of shots fired. Upon arrival they discovered four people at the residence had been shot.
Sheriff Clint Shrum confirmed that the shooter was still on the scene when deputies arrived. They immediately took confirmed shooter John Wesley Smith, 37, into custody.
Emergency medical services were called for the victims which included homeowner Jerone Powell, 50, the shooter’s wife Carolyn Nicole Powell, 32, Christopher Gary Hurst, 38, of Bridgeport, Alabama, a friend of Nicole Powell. Nicole Powell was pronounced dead at the scene.
The shooter and the two male victims were transported to area hospitals.
Six children (ranging in ages from a toddler to a twelve year old) who were in the house at the time of incident were reported to be safe.
Sheriff Shrum said it appeared to be a domestic related incident between the shooter, his wife Nicole Powell, and Hurst.
The scene had turned domestic when John Wesley Smith entered the Powell residence in Altamont where his wife, Nicole Powell, her children, her father Jerone Powell, and Hurst were at the home. His wife and Hurst attempted to leave the home and were shot by the husband. The woman’s father shot at and hit the husband, keeping him from continuing to fire, however the father was also shot.
One of the six children ran outside the home and tried to help the victims.
“They actually tried to control some of the bleeding to one of the victims. That’s what makes it tough right there. And so we’re going to prosecute this as hard as we can,” said Sheriff Shrum.
“Smith is from Marion County and has a lengthy criminal history,” continued Shrum.
On Monday, the Sheriff issued a statement saying that Powell and Hurst had undergone surgery at area hospitals. Powell was listed in critical condition at the time. The shooter, Smith, was at another hospital and reported to be in fair condition.
Sheriff Shrum stated Jerone Powell will not be charged in the incident.
“We think that he, that his actions, probably saved some additional lives,” stated the Sheriff.
Shrum also stated the scene was processed “fairly easily.”
“We were able to find weapons. But, what happened prior to that is what we want to know. That maybe even the family doesn’t know. Maybe just the deceased and Smith know.”
The sheriff has requested assistance from the District Attorney’s Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.”