Police release details of 2 deadly officer involved shootings

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Knoxville police are opening up about two officer involved shootings.

The first stems from a November 15th shoplifting incident at the Chapman Highway Walmart.

Two Knoxville police officers, John Mays and Toliver Robertson, are back on duty after being placed on paid suspension.

They were called to Walmart's loss prevention office on November 15, 2011. Two men were in the office for trying to steal lightbulbs.

One of them, Zachary Russell, refused to give identification and would not sit down. Officer Robertson was only a foot away and tried to tase him, but Russell did not back down.

That's when Officer Mays tried to wrestle him to the ground. Sometime during the fight, Russell pulled out a gun and aimed it at Robertson's head.

Police think Russell pulled the trigger, but the gun did not fire.

In response, Officer Mays started shooting. He shot his gun 8 times, hitting Russell 7 of those times: 3 in the shoulder, 3 in the abs, and one in the ear.

Russell had multiple previous theft convictions.

The second shooting took place on September 1st in the City of Knoxville.

Jason Pannell was shot and killed by police after he pulled the trigger four times.

Police say he got kicked out of the Magnolia Cafe and fought with an off duty officer.

That officer called for back up, and when the second officer arrived on scene Pannell fired four bullets. The police fired 23 times.

They hit Pannell three times, once in the arm, once in the shoulder and a third time he was grazed in the back.

Pannell had a lengthy criminal history, he was also suspected in a number of area rapes.

The two officers involved in the shooting, Lynn Clemons and Jason Kalmanek are both back on duty.


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