J im Adkisson has made his initial appearance before a judge. Knox County Judicial Commissioner Richard Major said it happened around 7 pm in the jail. The charges against him were explained and Public Defender Mark Stephens was appointed as his attorney.
He will appear in court August 5 for a sessions hearing in Felony Sessions Court.
Major said Adkisson did not say anything of consequence, simply responding to the standard questions. Major was also the one to issue the warrant for Adkisson earlier in the day.
The suspect in this morning's shooting has now been identified as Jim D. Adkisson of Knox County. Randy Kenner with the city of Knoxville said Adkisson is held on a million-dollar bond and is charged with first-degree murder.
TVUUC has posted on its website
that the congregation is recovering from this morning's violence and has asked to be kept in the public's prayers.
Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale has issued a written statement of support and sympathy, saying:
When we go to our places of worship, we go expecting to have a time of reflection and fellowship. Today's violence is the worst sort of desecration and should be renounced by citizens of all faiths. I join all Knox Countians in offering our prayers to the families affected by this terrible tragedy. This is a time for all of us to come together to lend our complete support to this church family.
Mark and Becky Harmon attend the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church and were present when the gunman opened fire. Mark Harmon (also a Knox County Commissioner) was in the sanctuary when the shooting started; Becky Harmon had helped organize the play and was in the hallway. You can watch their interview in the video attached to this story.
In recognition of the loss suffered by TVUUC, Westside Unitarian Universalist Church
will be holding at service at 6 p.m.
Two victims in the attack have been treated and released at this point; it was previously reported one of those victims was treated and released from UT. Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center has confirmed one church member was taken to Fort Sanders, treated, and released.
Church leaders, police officials, and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam gathered outside the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church Sunday afternoon to address the morning shooting.
KPD Chief Sterling Owen said officials are not ready to release the suspect's name or age, but he did say that mental illness is not believed to be a factor in the suspect's actions. Owen also said the FBI is now involved in the investigation. Owen confirmed witness reports indicating that the suspect arrived on the scene with a large quantity of ammunition. He also noted that the suspect had attempted to conceal the 12 gauge shotgun he used in the shooting by carrying it in a guitar case.
Owen confirmed the identity of the one fatality in the shooting as Greg McKendry. He said eight others were injured by gunfire.
Owen said McKendry was likely the first person the gunman encountered after entering the sanctuary.
According to UT Medical Center, seven gunshot victims were brought to their facility. Five are in critica l condition. One is in serious condition. One was treated and released.
TVUUC Minister Chris Buice said he was in Asheville on vacation at the time of the shooting, but returned as soon as heard the news. He teared up in speaking of McKendry's death, asking the Knoxville community to "pray for us."
A church member tells WBIR there were "at least 200" congregants in the sanctuary at the time of the attack.
Church member Amy Broyles was inside the church with her family at the time of the shooting.
She says she was with her toddler inside the church's glass-walled "quiet room" - set up for mothers and babies - at the back of the sanctuary, while her husband and other children were inside the church. One of her children was performing in the musical performance at the front of the sanctuary.
She says she heard a loud "boom," and looked out the glass to see her husband, mother in law and one of her children dive under a pew. She then looked to the side and saw an older man, perhaps 65 years old, raising what appeared to be a shotgun to his shoulder and firing into the church.
She then grabbed her baby and blocked the doorway to the quiet room in case the man were to attempt to get into the quiet room. She heard another gunshot or two, and then heard several men tackling the shooter right outside the quiet room door. One of the men was her husband, Jamie Parkey.
She then heard calls for everyone to get out of the sanctuary, so she and other women ran from the quiet room, and joined other church members making their exit from the church. She was able to locate her other children almost immediately.
On her way out, she had to step over one male victim - also just outside the quiet room - who appeared to be mortally wounded. Broyles identifies that victim as Greg McKendry.She also had to walk past several other gunshot victims. Many church members, including children were covered with blood splatters from the gunshot victims.
Broyles says that although she only heard a couple of gunshots, she saw many shotgun cartridges on the floor around the shooter after he was tackled, leading her to believe he came to the church with a lot of ammunition.
She says she was tremendously impressed with the calm, effective way that church members with medical training responded to the needs of the gunshot victims, treating them at the scene until help arrived.
She also praises KPD officers who responded, saying they showed great compassion and calm in the face of a chaotic situation.
The Blount County Foothills Unitarian Universalist congregation will be holding an open gathering from 2-7 pm at the Habitat for Humanity Bldg at 1017 Hampshire Drive in Maryville (near Foothills Mall). The public and media are invited.
This is a special called gathering in response to the shooting.
Dr. John Bohstedt spoke to WBIR's John Becker about the shooting. Bohstedt helped tackle the shooter, and hold him until police arrived. Bohstedt's own granddaughter was performing in the musical "Annie," that children were performing at the front of the sanctuary when the shooting began.
"This was a day the church was looking forward to for a long time and it turned into a nightmare," Bohstedt said. Bohstedt said the gunman had no connection to the church that he knows of, and he has no clue as to a motive.
"Just another crazy, random church shooting," added an emotional Bohstedt.
Church member Anne Strange says church members want the Knoxville community to know that congregant John Bohstedt, who helped tackle the gunman, was unharmed in the attack.
Knoxville City Councilman Joe Hultquist tells WBIR that one victim in the church attack has died, and five others are in critical condition.
Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam has issued a statement: "TODAY KNOXVILLE SUFFERED A TRAGEDY. OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH THE VICTIMS AND THEIR FAMILIES AND THE CHURCH COMMUNITY."
According to church member Steve Drevik, three congregants tackled the suspect, ending his attack. One of the three was longtime TVUUC member and UT History Professor, John Bohstedt.
WBIR journalists on the scene are told that six of the seven individual transported to the hospital were victims of gunshot wounds. One of the seven transported suffered an ankle injury.
Becky Thompson with UT Medical Center confirms to NBC News that seven people were transported from the church to UTMC for medical treatment.
Sources say church members tackled the suspect, holding him until police arrived.
KPD says the call came in at 10:18 am. The first officer arrived at 10:21 am. The suspect was taken into custody at 10:22 am. Police believe he is the lone suspect.
KPD officials says Mayor Haslam has been made aware of the event, and a press conference will be held later today.
More information about the church can be found at their website: http://www.TVUUC.org
Steve Drevik says the suspect isn't believed to have any connection to the church.
Steve Drevik, a member of the TVUU Church spoke to media outside the church building.
He says the suspect is now in custody.
Drevik says the shooting happened during a regular service, as children of the church were performing music from Annie
A man with long blond hair, who appeared to be in his 40s, walked into the sanctuary and opened fiire with a shotgun, shooting indiscriminately.
At least six or seven people were hit by the gunfire. They have been transported to UT Medical Center. Two are believed to be in serious condition.
No children are believed to have been hit by the gunfire.
Some of the children were taken next door to Second Presbyterian Church for shelter.
Numerous KPD officers are on the scene.
Multiple people have suffered gunshot wounds in what witnesses describe as a mass shooting inside a church in West Knoxville Sunday morning.
The shootings happened at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church on Kingston Pike.
A witness who spoke to 10 News said police had arrived and one person was being detained at the scene.
A children's production of "Annie" was taking place as part of the normal Sunday service at the time of the shooting, the witness, who is a member of the church, said. The gunman walked into a packed sanctuary and opened fire.
The number of people shot and the extent of their injuries has not been confirmed, but the witness said he saw at least five people shot.
Church members heard a loud boom during the church service, which began around 10:15 a.m., the witness said. Several other loud booms followed, and the witness said the gunman seemed to be shooting randomly across a row of people. Two congregants tackled the gunman, he said.
Many people fled to the Second Presbyterian Church after the shooting, and that church was placed on lockdown, according to a 10 News crew at the scene. People have since been allowed to return to the Unitarian church building, where police are questioning witnesses.