Suspect sought, man dies following shooting at E. Knoxville home

Suspect sought, man dies following shooting at E. Knoxville home

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- Police are seeking a suspect or suspects after a man died following his shooting Thursday night while he visited his mother's home in his East Knoxville. Investigators say the suspects drove by and fired into the home.

The victim was Lester Marvin Walton, 66.

Police say at 8:44 p.m. Thursday, officers responded to the home of Walton's mother at 3229 Ashland Avenue.

While he and his wife were visiting, Walton was shot once in the neck as he sat in front of a window watching TV. 

Walton was taken to UT Medical Center, where he died during surgery.

His daughter says Walton was soft-spoken, a good cook, a member of the Elks Lodge and went to church every Sunday.

"It's hard. I can accept death if he was killed in a car accident, if it was an illness, but when you take someone's life, this was a senseless shooting. This was an innocent person," says LeRhonda Walton-Hill.

Visitation will be Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. at Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Knoxville, with the funeral to follow. Internment will be Wednesday morning.

Investigators say they don't have a motive yet for the shooting but no one in the Ashland Avenue home was the target.

One neighbor told 6 News she heard several shots from what she thought sounded like an automatic weapon.

Family members say Walton was a devoted son who visited his mother nearly every night, help her make dinner and stay with her until it was her bed time.

"There is obviously concern in the community. I know they are anxious to see someone arrested for this, as we are, as well," says police spokesman Darrell DeBusk.

"We're going to continue to work on this. We have several investigators working this case, but it's going to take the community's help. We know that there are some people out there that know what happened and we just need those individuals to come forward," DeBusk adds.

The suspect may have been driving an older model burgundy Chevy Astro or GMC van.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the police department at (865)-215-7212. Callers can remain anonymous.

6 News Anchor/Reporter Jill McNeal contributed to this report.

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