BRISTOL, Tennessee — Before the mass shooting of police officers and civilians in Dallas Thursday night, July 7th — another threat to police played out that morning in Bristol, Tennessee, near the Virginia border, killing one woman and wounding three others, including a police officer. Officers were also targeted in Georgia and Missouri Friday in the aftermath of two high-profile killings of black men by law enforcement.
A suspect, armed with two guns and a large amount of ammunition, began firing shots at motorists and at a Days Inn hotel along Volunteer Parkway Thursday morning, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The TBI has identified the gunman as 37-year-old Lakeem Keon Scott.
A law enforcement official told CNN that when police pulled up, Scott managed to move to a position behind the officers and began firing at them, striking one of them.
The TBI says the preliminary investigation reveals Scott may have targeted individuals and officers after being troubled by recent incidents involving African-Americans and law enforcement officers in other parts of the country. Investigators spoke to Scott Friday morning in the hospital.
According to the police report of the incident, witnesses heard a gunman yelling, “Police suck! Black lives matter!” around 2 a.m. ET, as he opened fire, the law enforcement official said. Police say the gunman killed one woman (a female newspaper carrier) and wounded three others, including the police officer.
Scott was also wounded in an exchange of gunfire with police. He was transported to the hospital where he remains in serious but stable condition, according to the TBI.
The officer who was shot was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The law enforcement official told CNN Scott was found with two firearms, a .45 caliber pistol and an AR-15 rifle. A third firearm, a Mossberg shotgun, was found at his home. The official says investigators also found Black Lives Matter materials in his home.
Police believe he was trying to draw cops in for a confrontation, according to the official.
Also Thursday, the New Orleans division of the FBI notified local police departments of social media postings with threats to law enforcement in the state and concerns regarding the safety of the general public following the shooting by police in Baton Rouge.
Among the posts, one said, “Rule 1 Must kill every Police!!!! Copy and paste so no one in your family be purge.”
Col. Mike Edmondson, the superintendent of Louisiana State Police, told CNN’s Nick Valencia that authorities learned of the post Thursday and did not believe at the time there was any real threat.
“I have been following up on it. Nothing to it at this point,” Edmondson said, adding, “We are prepared, though.”
An officer in Valdosta, Georgia is recovering after being ambushed while responding to a report of a break-in.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says Officer Randall Hancock went to an apartment complex Friday morning to investigate a possible vehicle break-in.
When he got there, authorities say he was fired upon by 22-year-old Stephen Paul Beck, who reported his car had been broken into.
Hancock was struck once in the abdomen, and at least twice in his bulletproof vest.
Hancock returned fire — striking back.
Both men were taken to area hospitals. Hancock was listed in stable condition. Beck was listed in serious condition.
Authorities are investigating the motive for the shooting but said they hadn’t found a connection to Thursday’s ambush in Dallas.
The St. Louis County prosecutor’s office says the officer who was critically wounded during a traffic stop in Missouri is white.
St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch on Friday charged 31-year-old Antonio Taylor with three felonies, including assault and weapons charges. He concurred with the police assessment that the shooting was an ambush.
Authorities say the shooting happened earlier Friday after Ballwin officer, who has not been identified, stopped Taylor, who is black, for speeding.
Police say the officer was walking back to his police car to check Taylor’s driving status when Taylor ran up behind the officer and fired three times, hitting the officer at least once.
Police say they don’t yet have a possible motive in the shooting.
The officer remained hospitalized Friday night.