A Spring Hill man was shot and killed Tuesday night in what appears to have been a random, senseless act of violence at a Kentucky rest stop just north of the Tennessee state line.
After shooting 40-year-old Jamie Plymel point-blank, Kentucky State Police said James Roames, 39, of Hendersonville, Tenn., turned the gun on himself.
Plymel was taken to the Medical Center at Franklin where he was pronounced dead. Roames was transported to Skyline Medical Center in Nashville where he also died.
Although the investigation is ongoing, police believe the shooting was random. The men did not know each other.
Police said Roames walked up to Plymel’s SUV parked at the Kentucky Welcome Center off Interstate 65 at 9:25 p.m. and opened fire. Several shots were fired, although it is unclear how many times Plymel, who was still seated in the driver’s seat, was hit.
“We’re still going through the car,” Kentucky State Trooper Jonathan Biven told WBKO-TV in Bowling Green. “This investigation will continue going on, so it’ll be a while before we actually know a motive.”
There is no security at the Kentucky Welcome Center, but the rest stop is staffed with maintenance workers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Two workers inside at the time of the shooting heard the gunshots and called 911.
At the time of the shooting, Plymel was on the phone with his wife, Stacy. Stacy told police she heard Roames ask her husband to turn off his headlights.
He replied that he was leaving the car running and the lights were automatic but he would turn them off shortly. Moments later, Stacy reported she heard noises and then Plymel told her he’d been shot.
Stacy immediately hung up and called police but was never able to re-establish her connection with Jamie.
Plymel’s family said Jamie was on his way to Owensboro, Kentucky for business meetings scheduled for Wednesday. It was a trip he took often, according to the family.
News 2 spoke with Stacy Wednesday, who said it still feels as if her husband will just be gone for a couple of days.
“He’s working and he’ll be home tomorrow. He’ll be here; he’ll be back tomorrow,” she said.
The loss of her husband has yet to sink in.
"I know actually that’s not going to happen, but I still have yet to wrap my heart around that because in my heart he’s still here, " Stacy explained.
The couple has been married for one year and just celebrated their anniversary last month. They had plans to finally go on their honeymoon this fall.
Plymel leaves behind both Stacy and an 8-year-old son.
"He loved his son more than anyone on this face of this earth and more than anything loved that boy ," Stacy said.
In a statement, Plymel, who served in the U.S. Navy at Diego-Garcia, was described as a devoted father, a loving husband, son and brother, and a valued friend.
“He loved life, loved his wife, and was deeply devoted to his son,” the family said, in part, adding, “His absence will leave a huge hole in all of our lives.”
Also in the statement, his family thanked Kentucky State Police, first responders and staff at the welcome center for their professionalism and kindness. They also expressed sympathy for Roames’ family.
Funeral arrangements for Plymel have yet to be planned.