Friends: Police acted too quickly in Wal-Mart shooting

 Friends of Zach Russell, who was shot and killed in a south Knoxville Wal-Mart, say the officers who shot him acted too quickly.

Zachary Russell (Courtesy: Knoxville Police Dept.)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Friends of Zach Russell, who was shot and killed in a south Knoxville Wal-Mart, say the officers who shot him acted too quickly.

"He's got a beautiful wife and a beautiful daughter," said Russell Roop. "Now, she's got to grow up without her daddy."

They say despite his criminal history, he was trying to turn his life around.

"He was a great person. He started off getting in trouble and he started changing," remembered Spencer Lane. "He started acting different, started acting like a better person."

But, authorities with the Knoxville Police Dept. claim Russell had fallen back on his ways and was caught stealing light bulbs from the Wal-Mart on Chapman Hwy.

Russell was on probation for multiple theft convictions which one of his friends argued made it more difficult to find work. If he had been arrested, he might have faced more jail time and that is why Roop said he thinks Rusell pulled a gun, spurring officers to react with deadly force.

"It's a trend, said KPD chief David Rausch. "Unfortunately, more people are pulling firearms on officers, which requires us to respond and do our job the way we're trained."

But another friend said they didn't need to shoot to kill.

"If you're going to shoot him, shoot him in his leg," said Spence Lane. "Put him down, don;t kill him."


You must be logged in to post comments.

Username:
Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Join the Conversation!

While WVLT allows comments on articles, we ask that you respect the online community. Comments may be removed at any time for violations including:

  • Obscenity, profanity, vulgarity, racism, violent descriptions, name-calling or personal attacks.
  • Abuse of multiple accounts.
  • Off-topic comments.

Comments may be checked for inappropriate content or rule violation, but the station is under no legal obligation to monitor or remove comments. If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator. 
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

  • by kayla Location: knoxville on Dec 6, 2011 at 01:51 PM
    ok first none of you people talking bad even knew zac he was a great person so he made a mistake i am sure none of you are perfect thinkabout this what if this was some one you loved i am sure you would not be saying all this then. none of you people have a life to get on here and talk about some one who can not defend them selfs you all make me sick and if he had not lost his life none of you would be talking so heres what needs to be done you all need to grow up and give respect to zacs family and his friends here is what i have to say. REST IN PEACE ZACHARY BLAINE RUSSELL WE LOVE AND MISS YOU AND YOU WILL BE IN OUR HEARTS FOREVER
  • by jeremiah Location: columbus on Dec 4, 2011 at 01:25 AM
    look man this dude 21 yrs old and he dead he got a 2 yr old daughter he left behind...this jus happened yall dont need to be on here callin my dude trash and scum yall dont know him...yall dont know what happened...yall jus readin an article....cmon now...RIP lil bro im prayin for ya fam ery day cuzz
  • by Don Wilson Location: Walland on Nov 21, 2011 at 01:31 PM
    This one smells real bad. I want moe info.Where is Don Dare????????????????
  • by A friend Location: Knoxville on Nov 18, 2011 at 11:35 AM
    This is to ed who wants to call somebody a lowlife. First off you didnt know him he was more of a man then you could ever be. And he wasnt aiming the gun at the cop he was letting them have it and they tazed him and the gun went off shooting the floor. And then the cop that missed with a tazer decided it was time to shoot him. Now with that bein said nobody needs to judge somebody that they dont know because none of yall know that cop either. So dont take up for the coward.
  • by ashlee Location: mixtega on Nov 18, 2011 at 11:27 AM
    zach was my family he was the closest cousin to me he was always there for me growing up i know that he made alot of wrong choices in life but he was a good man he has the most beautiful lil girl and a awsome wife. he was gold to me. but wat i want to know is why he had to be shot 4 times its alil much dont you think. but it is over now but zach you will live forever. para siempre en mi corazon te quiero
  • by Sykemia Location: ATL on Nov 17, 2011 at 09:03 PM
    RIP ZACHARY RUSSELL! I WILL MISS YU BOO... NEVER FORGET THE DAY YU ASKED ME OUT IN 5TH GRADE.... I THOUGHT YU WERE SOOO CUTE :'( I'LL BE MISSING YU BOO -MUAH X0X0
  • by ddizzle on Nov 17, 2011 at 08:53 PM
    The only people who defend someone like this obviously know him. They are young and dumb it is his fault because he put himself in that position.
  • by ddizzle on Nov 17, 2011 at 08:53 PM
    The only people who defend someone like this obviously know him. They are young and dumb it is his fault because he put himself in that position.
  • by ddizzle on Nov 17, 2011 at 08:53 PM
    The only people who defend someone like this obviously know him. They are young and dumb it is his fault because he put himself in that position.
  • by Kath Location: Sevier County on Nov 17, 2011 at 08:40 PM
    What?

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2015 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 133997603 - local8now.com/a?a=133997603
Gray Television, Inc.