LENOIR CITY, Tenn. (WATE) — Lenoir City Police are investigating the shooting death of 20-year-old Michael Owen.
“Just the day before yesterday he texted me asking for some transmission fluid and I didn’t get back to him but I didn’t hear from him after that so I figured something was wrong with him,” Nick Crabtree said.
Crabtree and Owen knew each other for almost the entirety of Owen’s life. “We went to third grade together,” Crabtree said. “We grew up together, we worked together. He was my best friend.”
Now Crabtree and many others are remembering the young father.
Police report Owen was shot dead by a homeowner on West 2nd Avenue shortly after 10:00 Tuesday night after Owen tried to force his way inside the homeowner’s dwelling. Owen was declared dead at the scene.
“We both have two kids actually. We’re really, really close, brothers,” Crabtree said. “He’s a real good man. He had a lot of ups and downs in his life but don’t we all.”
Police say they were originally called to a different home for a disturbance on the same street where the shooting happened.
Neighbors who declined to go on camera said there was a party at a home across the street from the house where Owen was shot.
One neighbor said Owen fled the home where the party was at when police arrived and went to the front porch of the other home. Witnesses saw Owen acting erratically moments before he was shot, and some claimed Owen may have been under the influence of an unknown substance, according to police.
“I don’t really see Mike kicking in no doors or anything. Trying to hurt somebody, I don’t see that. I really don’t. That’s not the Mike I know. I just feel like he was at the wrong place, wrong time,” said Crabtree.
The porch where neighbors say Owen was shot is now clean, but for Crabtree, the scars of losing a best friend are going to last forever.
“He was just talking about getting right,” Crabtree said. “He had a little setback in his life. Some stuff happened and he was trying to get his kids, be around them more. I love him and I miss him very much.”
Crabtree added, to his knowledge, Owen was not addicted to anything.