Knoxville Shooter Targeted Church Over Hate for Liberals and Gays


Jim Adkisson (above, center), the gunman in Knoxville who killed two and injured seven at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church Sunday morning targeted the church because he hated liberals and gays, police said. The church was an active supporter of human and gay rights issues.

ChurchThe Knoxville Sentinel reports: “The shotgun-wielding suspect in Sunday’s mass shooting at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church was motivated by a hatred of ‘the liberal movement,’ and he planned to shoot until police shot him, Knoxville Police Chief Sterling P. Owen IV said this morning. Jim D. Adkisson, 58, of Powell wrote a four-page letter in which he stated his ‘hatred of the liberal movement,’ Owen said. ‘Liberals in general, as well as gays.’ Adkisson said he also was frustrated about not being able to obtain a job, Owen said.The letter, recovered from Adkisson’s black 2004 Ford Escape, which was parked in the church’s parking lot at 2931 Kingston Pike, indicates he had been planning the shooting for about a week.”

Adkisson did not plan to leave the church alive, police said: “Officers recovered 76 shells for a 12-gauge, semiautomatic shotgun inside the church. Among those shells were three spent rounds. He had carried the shotgun inside the church in a guitar case, Owen said. ‘He certainly intended to take a lot of casualties,’ the chief said. Adkisson is accused of killing two people and injuring seven others. He is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Greg McKendry, 60. Also killed in the shooting was Linda Kraeger, 61, who was visiting the church from Westside Unitarian Universalist Church.”

Posted July 28, 2008 at 12:08pm ETC by Andy Towle
in crime, News, Tennessee