Neighbors offer a glimpse inside life of church shooting suspect

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church shooting suspect Jim D. Adkisson, 58, said nothing as he was led into the police station Sunday afternoon.

He did have his arm in a sling, and was surrounded by police.

Knoxville Police and their bomb squad searched his home for evidence Sunday.

Although police are tight-lipped on a motive, some of Adkisson's neighbors offered a few more clues.

Neighbor Karen Massey says, "I was telling him about my daughter graduating from Bible college and I was a Christian and stuff...and he just automatically turned angry."

As Knoxville police and a bomb squad search the home of 58 year old Jim D. Adkisson, neighbors reflect on the man they've known for the more than four years they say he's lived at his Levy Drive home.

For Massey, his arrest surprised her, sort of.

"I'm really shocked but at the same time knowing now what has happened he and I did have some pretty extensive discussions, biblical discussions."

Those discussions led her to believe Adkisson didn't believe in the bible's teachings.

"He apparently had a problem with what the Bible said and the contradicting. He felt was contradictions which I don't personally believe, because I am a Christian"

Massey says Adkisson has had those feelings running back to childhood.

"He was angry with his parents because they had made him go to church all his life."

As neighbors watch bomb squad members go through Adkisson's home, they wonder what they'll find because they typically saw Adkisson as a loner.

Neighbor Melissa Coker says, "He never went anywhere. He never had anybody over. Just, it was really quiet. He rode a motorcycle and you know he would go out on the weekends on his motorcycle, but other than that, you never heard from him."

Massey says, "He's kinda quiet and stayed to himself. Didn't have a lot of company.”

The big question is why the Unitarian church?

Even Karen Massey is puzzled, because she says, in her conversations with Adkisson, he never spoke specifically about that church.


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  • by Don Reagan Location: Dandridge on Jul 28, 2008 at 11:42 AM
    I am concerned on his use of prescription drugs. All of the school shooters were Ritelin kids. Did he take and anti depression drugs? I am just wondering if they played a part by altering his actions

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