KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Knoxville Police Department confirmed two men that were shot and killed Monday evening in North Knoxville were acquaintances and the shooting “was not a random act.”
James Aaron Taylor, Jr., 25, and Courtney Deontea Gillette, 25, were both found dead at a home at 2806 Whittle Springs Road. The shooting was reported around 6:11 p.m. on Whittle Springs Road at Edgewood Avenue.
A woman called 911 to say a man had been shot in her home, according to police. When officers arrived, they found Taylor dead inside the home and Gillette dead outside on the front lawn.
According to the autopsy that was performed Wednesday, both men suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Police said more than one handgun was recovered from the scene.
William Juckett lives across the street from where the shooting took place. He moved here last month.
“I met a few people around the area. It was pleasant. It was really nice,” said Juckett.
He arrived home Monday night to law enforcement and caution tape at the home across the street.
“I honestly don’t know what to think. You see it in movies and TV, but it is definitely a different thing when it is just 200 feet in one direction,” said Juckett.
Juckett says he does not know the victims.
Friends and family of James Taylor say Taylor lived at the home where the shooting occurred and that he had a newborn daughter and almost three-year-old son. Friends describe Taylor as family-oriented with a great personality. They say he was cousins with 12-year-old Jajuan Latham who was killed sitting in the back of his father’s parked car in Mechanicsville last year during what police say was a gang-related shooting.
Juckett says the violence needs to stop.
“It is going to be a hard thing to stop but hopefully with some awareness and just showing this connections people realize something has got to change,” said Juckett.
The family of Gillette said they were not ready to do an interview on camera at this time.
Juckett says he can’t imagine what the loved ones of the victims are going through today.
“Thoughts and prayers out to anybody affected. It’s just devastating,” said Juckett.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Knoxville Police Department’s crime information line at (865) 215-7212. Callers can remain anonymous.