BEAN STATION (WATE) – Two people were killed and another two hospitalized after a shooter opened fire in a Grainger County pharmacy.
Dispatchers said the shooting happened at the Down Home Pharmacy on Highway 25E in Bean Station shortly after 11 a.m.
District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn said at a news conference that former Bean Station police officer Jason Brian Holt, 37, walked into the pharmacy and robbed them of a large quantity of Oxycodone pills.
During the robbery, he shot and killed two people with a revolver. Two other women were shot and flown via helicopter to University of Tennessee Medical Center.
The owner of the pharmacy, Stephen Lovell, of Morristown, as well as Richard Alexander Sommerville, of Bean Station, died at the scene.
Two workers at the pharmacy were injured – Alexia Gail Wilson, 45, of Morristown, and Janet Cliff, of Rutledge.
As of Thursday evening, both women were in stable condition at UT Medical Center.
Holt was arrested within minutes of the shooting by Bean Station and Rutledge Police Departments and the Grainger County Sheriff’s Office.
Dunn said Holt served as an officer with the Bean Station Police Department and the Grainger County Sheriff’s Department, but said he hadn’t been employed with either agency since the early 2000s.
Authorities shut down the road in front of the business in Bean Station while responding to the shooting.
Residents in the area are understandably shaken to have such a deadly incident so close to home.
“I live right over there. This is too close for comfort. I have three children and I’m scared for them. We’ve been to that pharmacy a lot. That could have been us. I’m praying for the families,” said Nikki Helton, who lives close by.
“I just had been there last Monday, picked up some medicine for my son. What if we’d been, you know that’s crazy. We could’ve been there, me and my husband and my little boy,” said Michelle Bolden of Bean Station.
One man told 6 News he bought his home from Holt and has known him for several years.
“It don’t surprise me that he was after the drugs but he surprised me that he went to that extent,” Bean Station resident Brad Minton said. “He was running around on drugs. “He’s where he needs to be. If he did that, he deserves to be put under the jail if you ask me.”
6 News Reporters JILL MCNEAL and SAMANTHA MANNING contributed to this report.