Antonio King Nashville shooting at Antioch Pike Smile Direct Club leaves 3 shot, gunman dead after day shift worker fired off more than 20 rounds. No known motive.
A workplace shooting at a Nashville manufacturing facility, early Tuesday morning left three people wounded and the gunman shot dead while fleeing responding police.
Two security guards at the Smile Direct Club warehouse — Johnny Hardin, 46, and Carlton Watson, 66 — were hospitalized. Hardin was in critical condition and Watson in stable condition. Thomas Abbott, 54, a manager at the facility, was treated and released, WKRN reported. Another employee injured a leg running away.
The alleged shooter, Antonio D. King, 22, a dayshift worker at the Antioch Pike facility was pronounced dead at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Police said King entered at shift change — about 6 a.m. — and began firing, but no one was hit. He exited the building and engaged in a shootout with security guards through the doors, firing more than 20 rounds. Metro police said they believe King was hit during the exchange of gunfire as well.
Video showing moments before the 22-year old gunman was shot & killed by police.
Police say The 22-year old shot his fellow employees at Smile Direct Club warehouse on Antioch Pike
— Tosin Fakile (@TosinfaksTV) August 3, 2021
Antioch Smile Direct Club gunman refused to put down gun
Metro Nashville Police released the 911 calls and body camera footage from two officers who opened fire during the incident. The body camera video shows officers following King down the sidewalk, repeatedly calling for him to drop his gun. With officers approaching from several angles, King stopped in the middle of an intersection and turned toward Officer Dylan Ramos and Officer Cherell Kinchloe. When he pointed his gun at the officers, they opened fire.
Officers handcuffed King and rendered aid until an ambulance arrived to take him to the hospital.
Police spokeswoman Kristin Mumford said the Tennessee Department of Investigation is reviewing the incident. The department itself is looking at the shots Kinchloe fired ‘given the vantage point represented by her video.’
SmileDirectClub, which manufactures a home teeth straightening system, released a statement, saying it was ‘saddened’ by the shooting and was cooperating with the investigation.
#VIDEO: “He just asked everybody ‘why are you running? why are you running?’ He just started opening fire, spraying it, the whole building.” Employee describes workplace shooting at Smile Direct Club warehouse on Antioch Pike. https://t.co/7LYKEzNYRL pic.twitter.com/e75G9qdi7W
— Josh Breslow (@JoshBreslowTN) August 3, 2021
King used a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun and apparently had multiple clips in a sling pack he carried, police said.
Police said King, who worked the day shift at the warehouse, had been working there since June but had previously worked at the facility from late 2019 to early 2020.
King’s family said the man suffered from a mental illness but they were unaware of its severity.
Mental illness cited
Read a statement released by Antonio King’s family:
‘The heart of our family is broken at the news of the shooting at Smile Direct Club. For the families impacted by the shooting we cry and pray with you. For those who were injured and frightened by the event we empathize with you and pray for you. When we say we are praying for you, it is not a cliché, it is heartfelt.
‘Antonio King was a quiet, caring, fun loving, and hardworking young man, the actions of this tragic event do not display the true character of Antonio. The reality of his mental illness has taken us by surprise, unfortunately the signs of the severity of the illness were not evident to those of us who were with him daily. It is important for us as a community to be aware of how mental illness can manifest itself in our loved ones and friends. In the days that we live in where it is so easy to shame, belittle, berate, and criticize others without knowledge of how they struggle daily. We must find compassion and be starkly aware of the need for life giving intervention that builds each individual in our community.
‘Our deepest sympathies and prayers for the speedy recovery of those injured and everyone else who was involved, as we mourn the loss of Antonio.’
Police to date have yet to say what led to King going on his shooting spree, whether there had been a recent incident at the facility and whether he had sought to take out particular targets or was shooting randomly.