UPDATE: Sovereign Matthews, a witness in a homicide that occurred on Amber Glades Lane, was arrested by Knox County Sheriff’s Office on a violation of probation charge near his home Saturday afternoon around 1 p.m., according to Deputy Chief Lee Tramel.
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office says preliminary information indicates a deadly shooting Monday night in a West Knox County neighborhood started with a meeting between four people for a marijuana deal.
The sheriff’s office said Mekhi Luster, 19, of Knoxville was shot and killed around 8 p.m. on Amber Glades Lane, off of Boyd Station Road.
Deputies say a 13-year-old reported the shooting. When deputies arrived, they found Luster unconscious in the backyard suffering from at least one gunshot wound. He was taken to UT Medical Center where he was later died.
The suspect in his death, Isaiah Styles, 18, was taken into custody on Penwood Drive in Knox County around noon on Tuesday, according to deputies, about seven miles from where the shooting happened. Detectives confronted Styles and he fled on foot. He was then bitten by a police K9 and taken into custody. He is now at an area hospital being treated.
Styles will face a charge of felony murder, according to KCSO.
Detectives initially sought two suspects, but after speaking to one of the men, they now consider him a witness, Sovereign Matthews.
The sheriff’s office says Luster and the 13-year-old were meeting with Styles and Matthews for a marijuana deal. Deputies say the Matthews lives in an adjoining neighborhood. He and Styles were driven from the area by a juvenile female who has not been charged.
Luster was a former student at Fulton High School, according to a Knox County Schools spokesperson. He was most recently a student at Paul Kelley Volunteer Academy, an education resource center at Knoxville Center Mall.
Luster was a childhood friend of Zaevion Dobson, the Fulton High School student who was shot and killed in December 2015. Zaevion’s mother, Zenobia, told WATE 6 On Your Side on Tuesday that she is at a loss for words about Luster’s death.
Fulton High School basketball coach Jody Wright tweeted Tuesday about Luster’s death, saying that he was a fun guy to be around and liked by everyone.
“No doubt in my mind we won the state in 2016 due to Mehki. He was the hardest guy to guard and press than anyone we played,” tweeted Wright. “We will miss his smile and his laugh. Lift up the Fulton family, especially our students, in your prayers as we deal with this loss.”
If we could press Mehki in practice…then we could press anybody. We will miss his smile and his laugh. Lift up the Fulton family especially our students in your prayers as we deal with this loss— Jody Wright (@Fultonhoops) April 24, 2018
Multiple law enforcement agencies were involved in a manhunt overnight Monday into Tuesday as they searched for the suspect in Luster’s death.