Seven Suspects Wanted in Shooting

By: Gary Loe
By: Gary Loe

Knoxville (WVLT) - A man police say was shot in the head at his Jefferson Avenue home late Wednesday morning is recovering well.
Meantime, Knoxville Police are searching for 7 men they say are responsible for the shooting.

Volunteer TV's Gary Loe has more on how this latest violent crime is affecting efforts to revitalize the Parkridge neighborhood.

A number of Parkridge residents tell us this latest shooting won't sidetrack them from their goal of improving the quality of life in their east Knoxville neighborhood. They say they'll continue revitalization efforts and keep working to stop the violence. Parkridge often makes news for violent crime, like this shooting in broad daylight on Jefferson Avenue.

"He'd been shot one time in the head area. He was able to talk to investigators," Knoxville Police spokesman Darrell DeBusk said.

28-year-old Elijah Whitehead told police 7 men walked in his back door and shot him. Whitehead's live-in girlfriend says he's going to live.

Dumpsters on front lawns, followed by 'for sale' signs mark neighborhood renovation work. Strong efforts are underway to revitalize this historic neighborhood.

"I don't think it'll put a damper on people making an investment in the neighborhood because, you know, crime is everywhere," resident Stephanie Gourley said.

Stephanie Gourley's lived on Jefferson Avenue for three years. It's the first time violence has hit this close to home.

"I hope this does not bring a negative light to the neighborhood because we do have some good tenants in this neighborhood. We do have some decent, hardworking people in this neighborhood," Gourley said.

A few blocks away, an investor says he's learned to live with neighborhood crime, while hoping it eventually disappears.

"I've bought a gun since I've been here. I've put a security system in this house. We don't even live in it because we've been robbed twice. So, it's not like it doesn't affect our lives," resident John Mowbray said.

Meantime, police work to solve another Parkridge gun crime.

"You can't live in fear, you've just got to do your thing and live your life," Mowbray said.

Police have not yet released a motive in the shooting. They're searching for seven suspects, all black males. Several are wearing dreadlocks.

Authorities ask that anyone with information contact Knoxville Police.

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