Neighbors say former HVA football player shot to death and the teen charged were friends

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Police say the 19-year-old victim of a deadly shooting in West Knox County over the weekend and the teen charged in his death knew each other, and may have even been best friends.

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office says an argument broke out between the Jack Bush and Evan Hall, both 19, over the weekend in West Knox County, ending with Bush shooting Hall. Bush has now been charged with voluntary manslaughter.

Both Hall and Bush attended and graduated from Hardin Valley Academy where Hall played football. Neighbors of the two teens say Bush played lacrosse.

One neighbor who lives in the same subdivision as Hall and Bush says the two were best friends.

Rob Gately
Rob Gately

Rob Gately has lived in West Knox County for 13 years. He says the Bush and Hall families are neighbors and friends.

“I knew both of the kids. They grew up in the neighborhood here. I watched them play all the time, good kids,” said Gately.

A couple of neighbors say they heard a crash then gun shots. They say they went outside and saw a mailbox down and Hall’s truck in Bush’s yard.

According to the grand jury indictment, voluntary manslaughter is where the suspect knowingly and unlawfully kills after being provoked in the heat of passion.

“I just couldn’t believe it. It was a sad thing. Nobody could believe it in the neighborhood. We are all shocked,” said Gately.

Jack Bush (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)
Jack Bush (source: Knox County Sheriff’s Office)

Gately says Bush and Hall have been best friends since they were little. He says as kids, they liked to play football in the yard. As teens they went out to the lake to fish. He says just days before the shooting he saw them both at Bush’s home.

“Heck, they were hanging out here a couple weeks ago. I seen them up in the yard here at Jack’s place. I seen them all the time hanging out,” said Gately.

Gately says he has visited with the Bush family since the shooting occurred.

“They are just tore up. The whole family is tore up,” said Gately.

He says his heart goes out to both families.

“All you can do is pray right now. You can’t say much. You can’t put a band aid on it. It’s going to take a lot of time to heal,” said Gately.

WATE 6 On Your Side asked the Knox County Sheriff’s Office about the neighbors claims of seeing Hall’s truck in Bush’s yard. Officials say they cannot discuss the details surrounding the investigation.

Jack Bush is out of jail on a $10,000 bond. He’s set to be in court again on January 20.

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