A McMinn County man died today at Athens Regional Medical center as a result of gunshot wounds he received during an apparent argument and shootout at a residence on County Road 258 near Athens.
According to McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy, at approximately 1235PM, 911 dispatchers received a call that the victim of a shooting, Jason Howard, 36, of County Road 52 near Riceville, was being driven by Jennifer Elaine White, 35, of Manilla Rd in Englewood, in a private vehicle to Athens Regional Medical Center. The car carrying the victim met AMR Emergency Medical Service at the Farm Bureau parking lot in Athens, and the victim was transported by ambulance from there to the Athens Emergency Room. Mr. Howard passed away from his wounds at approximately 120PM at Athens Hospital.
“At this point the incident seems to involve a dispute between Mr. Howard and Mr. Jason Watson, 39, who lives in a camper behind the residence at 165 County Road 258,” said Sheriff Guy. “Ms White and Mr. Howard had driven to Mr. Watson’s residence, and when they arrived several shots were fired, apparently by both men.”
“The dispute between the two men seems to have been ongoing for several weeks, apparently escalating to this shooting. My officers are on the scene now, and we will conduct a full investigation. Mr. Watson is certainly a person of interest at this point.”
Sheriff Guy stated that it is believed that Howard was shot several times with a small caliber handgun. A rifle was also found in the vehicle driven by Ms. White and mr. Howard.
The Sheriff said that an update will follow as more information comes available.