Police and firefighters who responded to a call about smoke coming from a Maryville condo found a father and son with gunshot wounds
A first-grade teacher and his 8-year-old son died in an apparent murder-suicide in his Tennessee condo Monday, say police.
At about 9 a.m. Monday, police and firefighters responded to a 911 call from a home inspector who was at Savannah Village to inspect the condo for a pending sale because he heard a smoke detector going off inside and saw smoke when he looked inside a window, NBC affiliate WBIR reports.
Inside, police and firefighters found James “Jimmy” Reagan, 38, and his son, Clark Reagan, in a bedroom, suffering from apparent gunshot wounds, Crisp said.
“It appears to be a murder-suicide,” said Crisp, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports.
Firefighters who reported smelling gasoline quickly extinguished a fire inside the bedroom where the two were found, local TV station WVLT News reports.
Jimmy Reagan and his son were taken to a local hospital, where the father was pronounced dead.
Clark Reagan was transferred to the University of Tennessee Medical Center. He was pronounced dead around noon, KnoxNews.com reports.
Jimmy Reagan and the boy’s mother were separated at the time of the apparent murder-suicide, Crisp said, local TV station WVLT News reports.
The elder Reagan was a teacher at Foothills Elementary School, where Clark was a third-grader.
“He was my buddy,” Clark Reagan’s grandfather, David Talley told WVLT News.
“Our rubber farm boots sat side by side just outside the door. We loved to feed our horses and carry in firewood together. He was the best little helper you could imagine. I don’t have to tell you how much I am going to miss my Clarkie.”
Clark and his two cousins dreamt of becoming famous comic book artists one day and living together in the same house, Talley told WVLT News.
The community was shocked to learn of the news, WBIR reports.
“I guess we’re all feeling kind of helpless,” neighbor Jolly Shelton, told WBIR. “What can we do? You know, if only we could’ve done something before. People are just stunned.”
“I mean, the poor mother, and for their family … what a tragic, tragic loss,” she said.
Maryville City Schools released a statement on Monday night about the deaths.
“As released by our police department earlier this afternoon, a Maryville father and son passed this morning in a terrible tragedy. Words cannot express our overwhelming sense of devastation and grief. We know the media will have many questions, so we are confirming that the two involved were, in fact, a teacher and student in the Maryville school district. Our hearts are also broken for our colleague, friend, and the loving mother of this young victim.”
The school is offering counseling services for students.