Person of interest wanted in East Tennessee homicide investigation

Johnny Royston Jr. (Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office)

BRISTOL, Tenn. (WATE) – The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office is asking for public’s help to find a man wanted for questioning in connection to a deadly shooting.

The sheriff’s office said Johnny Royston Jr. is a person of interest in a homicide investigation. Deputies said Royston has outstanding felony arrest warrants in Virginia for violation of probation with the original charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Johnny Royston Jr. (Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office)

At around 12:20 a.m. Saturday, the sheriff’s office said Rowdy Yates, 44, was found shot and killed beside a camper in the woods. The sheriff’s office said they received a call from someone that said Yates had been at the camper with Royster and two women Friday evening.

Royston was originally believed to be driving a maroon Land Rover Discovery. Sunday, the sheriff’s office said they discovered the vehicle and they now believe Royster is driving a white Suzuki Sidekick.

White Suzuki Sidekick Royster Jr. is believed to be driving (Sevier County Sheriff’s Office)

Deputies said Royster should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information about Royston’s whereabouts or the homicide investigation is asked to contact the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office at (423) 279-7500.

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