Former Lenoir City, TVA officer charged with shooting ex-wife in Roane County

The TBI is investigating a shooting in Roane County where a person was shot five times during a domestic violence situation.

HARRIMAN (WATE) – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating a shooting where a former law enforcement officer shot his ex-wife on Saturday afternoon.

According to the Roane County Sheriff’s Office, former Lenior City and TVA police officer Jeremy Alex Gambrell shot Jenny Gambrell five times after a domestic dispute around 3:00 p.m.

Sheriff Jack Stockton says the former couple, who live near each other, fired shots into their respective yards, but not at each other.

Alex Gambrell then went to Jenny Gambrell’s home to confront her boyfriend Brice Dick. During the confrontation, Jenny Gambrell was shot.

Arrest warrants say Alex Gambrell’s father David Gambrell called 911 to say his son had shot his ex-wife. David Gambrell said his son went to Jenny Gambrell’s home with a handgun. After hearing gunshots, David Gambrell saw Jenny Gambrell on the ground and Alex Gambrell holding her hand and apologizing to her.

Stockton says when officers arrived on scene, they found Jenny Gambrell bleeding in the yard, shot at least three times near her chest.

Dick said Alex Gambrell pointed the gun in his direction and fired, but Dick was not hit.

Jeremy Gambrell (source: Roane County Sheriff's Office)
Jeremy Alex Gambrell (source: Roane County Sheriff’s Office)

For more than three hours, Alex Gambrell barricaded himself inside the home located on the 300 block of Blair Road according to the sheriff’s office. He didn’t take any hostages, but deputies said they had to bring in a negotiator for safety.

“Anytime you confront a former law enforcement officer, he knows what our tactics are and it can become a very dangerous situation,” said Stockton.

Stockton said deputies diverted traffic between Alex Gambrell’s home and Butler Drive.

Alex Gambrell was taken into custody around 7:00 p.m. on two counts of aggravated assault. His arrest warrant says he was taken to Roane Medical Center because he told officers he had taken 20 Adderall pills.

Officials say he is not currently charged with attempted murder because he claims self defense. However, the district attorney could decide to change the charges at a later date.

“The circumstances from the case were kind of odd, due to the fact there was a boyfriend involved. The female was armed when the shooting occurred. It’s believed there were shots fired prior to the actual shooting of the wife. It was just a real odd situation. Naturally I’m sure the former officer is going to claim self defense,” Stockton said.

Stockton says Alex Gambrell told officers Jenny Gambrell did have a gun on her, but never pointed it at him.

“When she heard him shooting, she allegedly fired her gun several times, not at him, but in response to him being angry and shooting his firearm.”

Roy Nation, Jenny Gambrell’s uncle came to the scene as quickly as he could to make sure Gambrell was in custody. Nation said he helped raise Jenny Gambrell. He says she is a great person who didn’t deserve to be shot.

“It shocked me because the person she is, I just couldn’t believe that anybody would shoot her. Of course you never know about people,” said Nation

Nation says he hates domestic violence and he hopes other victims can learn from the situation.

“I reckoned that they split up several times but he’s begging her to come back to her or he gets to threatening,” said Nation.

Jenny Gambrell was taken to UT Medical Center, but the hospital could not release information on her condition. The warrant stated she was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Her three children were not at home during the time of the shooting according to deputies.

Alex Gambrell’s first court appearance is scheduled for May 18.

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