Crime Stoppers seeks information in 17-year-old Austin-East student’s death

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knoxville Police are continuing to look for answers in a weekend shooting that left 17-year-old Austin-East High School student John John Mathis dead.

It happened early Sunday morning in Lonsdale Homes. At last update, no suspects have been identified or charged. Even though police say a crowd of hundreds was on the scene, less than 10 tips have come into East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers.

That’s why they’re encouraging anyone who may know anything about the case to speak up, and reminding them if they do, they stay completely anonymous.

“We have received several tips, we’ve received eight tips. However, if you look at the picture I have where there’s literally hundreds of people at this gathering, that’s just a drop in the bucket in tips,” Stacey Payne, the interim coordinator of East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers, said.

The lack of tips is frustrating for Payne as well as law enforcement pushing for justice.

The tip form doesn’t ask for your name, address, or any identifying information.

And when you press submit, Payne said, “The only thing I’m going to see is this tip ID number.

“Submit a tip. That one little piece of information, that one little thread may be just what the investigator needs to find out what’s happened, to solve the crime.”

There are four ways you can get anonymous information to Crime Stoppers. You can call 1-800-222-8477, go online at, via the free mobile app, P3 Tips, or on the East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers Facebook page.

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