KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The victim of a fatal shooting at Rural King in Halls has been released by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.
Around 11:30 p.m. Friday, KCSO identified the victim of the shooting as Tristan M. Smith, 23, of Powell.
KCSO told WATE 6 On Your Side early Friday that deputies had been out all night in search of the suspect. Details regarding the suspect’s capture were forthcoming as of 6 a.m. Friday.
Kimberly Glenn, spokesperson for KCSO, says Larry McBee, 18, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder with more charges possibly pending. Glenn also said McBee was taken into custody at 3:38 a.m. Friday in Knoxville and transported to the Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility.
Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler stated in a social media update on Friday that the suspect identified as Larry McBee Jr. “was arrested & charged w/second-degree murder in the shooting death of (a) 23-year-old Rural King Employee. McBee could face additional charges. McBee was taken into custody (at) 3:38 a.m. Friday at a residence on McDonald Rd in Knoxville.”
It wasn’t immediately clear whose residence at which McBee was found.
Amid search efforts and updates Thursday, Spangler held a press conference around 1:30 p.m. Thursday where he shared the victim was found around the back of the store. According to Spangler, the victim was a 23-year-old male employee of Rural King.
“The victim approached to an individual who was shoplifting some ammo and some other items, and they went out back and got into a scuffle, and the suspect shot the victim,” Spangler said.
The victim has been pronounced dead, Spangler said. He has been identified, but his identity will not be released until all their family has been notified.
“You hear about employees, and employers telling their employees, not to go after somebody that is shoplifting because what could happen. Yes and that’s a deterrent but there again there’s a danger involved with it anytime that you approach somebody that’s doing something that they’re trying not to get caught,” Spangler said.
A sheriff’s office spokesperson had shared a description of the suspect a little before noon on Thursday, saying that the suspect is a male in his late teens or twenties, around 5’9″ tall and weighing between 145 and 165 pounds. He was wearing a light gray hoodie with an emblem on the front, dark gray sweatpants or light gray shorts, blue and white tennis shoes and carrying a blue backpack. Police added that he may also have a green toboggan on.
“Our detectives and all of our officers are still out, trying to get evidence from all of the stores here, locally looking at the cameras, and getting all the information that we can,” Spangler said Thursday afternoon.
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office said the shooting happened just before 11 a.m. behind the Rural King in Halls.
Rural King shared the following statement with WATE:
The police are investigating events that happened at our Knoxville, TN store. At this time, we are unable to provide any additional information. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, our associates, customers, and this community.
Spangler had asked nearby business owners and homeowners to take precautions and stay vigilant during the search for the suspect. KCSO asked everyone to avoid the area.
EDITORS NOTE: This story has been updated with new information.