KNOXVILLE (WATE) — Knoxville Police Department asked Knoxville to step up and help stop senseless violence after three shootings tied to gang violence left two young men dead and one woman injured. A suspect was charged Friday afternoon.
Zaevion William Dobson, 15, a Fulton High School football player died shielding three girls from bullets, according to Knoxville Police Department Chief David Rausch.
“It’s early in the investigation, but certainly we believe, not of the kids that were in Lonsdale, but the random shooting,” said Rausch on gang ties to the shooting. “Those that were committing the shootings absolutely we believe that there is some connections with the shootings.”
Thursday night at approximately 7:18 p.m., Rausch said police responded to a shots fired call with a victim at at a residence at 238 Dallas Street. He said two people were inside that residence when the house was struck multiple times.
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Lisa Perry, 46, was struck more than one time in the lower back, according to Rausch. He said Lisa Perry was transported to University of Tennessee Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. A 10-year-old child was also inside the residence, but was not injured, according to him.
Then hours later, at approximately 10:12 p.m., Rausch said the 23-year-old son of Lisa Perry, Brandon Perry, along with several additional males drove to the Lonsdale area and randomly fired multiple times into a crowd on Badgett Drive.
Dobson was struck and killed after he had jumped on top of three girls to shield them from the shooters,” said Rausch. Rausch said no other injuries were reported.
Rausch said shooters picked a random group of young men and women, including Dobson, who were gathered to celebrate the holiday.
“This cowardly and senseless acts of violence must stop. We ask for peace and I plea with the faith community, please pray for our community, but this stops now,” he said. “We should be preparing to celebrate the Christmas holiday, but now we have two young men who are dead and we have a woman in the hospital who is recovering from her wounds.”
At 1:59 a.m. police said a 2002 BMW crashed into an apartment at 1201 Green Hills Apartments. At that location police said they had to rescue a woman who was trapped inside her apartment. Fortunately, Rausch said the woman was not injured.
The driver of the vehicle, Brandon Perry, was shot prior to crashing the vehicle into the apartment, according to Rausch. He was transported to University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment, according to police. At approximately 6:00 a.m. Friday morning Rausch said Perry died from his injuries. No other injuries were reported, according to police.
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Brandon Perry has a criminal history that includes several drug related offenses, unlawful possession of a weapon and alteration of distinguishing numbers. Police at the time of the incident in March 2014 say he filed the serial numbers off of a handgun.
Rausch said two males who fled from the crashed vehicle at Green Hill Apartments on foot were quickly taken into custody by responding officers. He said both males were questioned by investigators. Christopher Bassett, 20, has been charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and violation of probation. More charges are pending. He is being held without bond.
The other male was released after questioning.
“Investigators are working with the district attorney general’s office on charging that second suspect,” said Rausch. “Investigators have been working tirelessly throughout the night on these incidents. This is a very active investigation.”