Drug Deal Ends in Shootout in West Knoxville

By: Mike McCarthy
By: Mike McCarthy
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Knoxville (WVLT) - Knoxville police are still on the hunt for one of the shooters involved in what they call a bungled drug deal at a West Knoxville shopping center in broad daylight.

On a very busy street...In a very packed parking lot...a shooting erupts Monday afternoon.

"I'm really freaked out. I'm really scared," Nike Moshi says.

Nike Moshi shops at the Walkers Spring Plaza at least once a week.

"I come here because they've got some good sales over there," Moshi says.

But Knoxville Police say it was the sale of drugs that drew the guns.

"At about 2:16 the 911 center started getting calls from people in this parking lot indicating that were shots being fired," Darell DeBusk says.

Police say 44-year-old Bobby Eugene Carr and 31-year-old Phillip Strange were here together to buy drugs.

But something went wrong between Carr and the dealer.

"The two got into an argument and the two started shooting their weapons at one another," DeBusk continues.

After the shots were fired here in the parking lot, Carr and Stranger and the other gunmen took off. Carr and Stranger ended up here at the Pilot on Walker Springs Road.

One bullet cracked the windshield of Carr's pick-up...another pierced the passenger door.

That bullet hit Strange in the leg. Carr called police.

"At first he indicated that he'd been carjacked," DeBusk says.

But the story didn't stick.

"After they started collecting interviews the truth came out that he was trying to buy drugs from an individual here in the parking lot," DeBusk says.

A bumbled drug deal in broad daylight...

"It's not the norm, but I'm sure they thought nothing would go wrong in an open area, in the middle of the day. It's probably safer than just going in the dark street corner at night," Ronald Green says.

But it didn't go that way. Carr's in custody and Strange's at UT medical center.

As for Moshi....

"Actually I'm just going to come here as I normally do because I can't really prevent something like that," Moshi says.

But she'll keep a cautious eye out.

Carr is charged with reckless endangerment and possession of a firearm. Police are still looking for the alleged drug dealer and his passenger.

If you have any information, you're asked to call 215-7212.


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