Initial reports indicated that 70-year old David Vowell had shot and killed two of three friends hunting at Reelfoot lake in Tennesee. It was thought that the shooting stemmed from a dispute over duck hunting.
Investigators are getting a better picture of what happened but now do not have a motive. District Attorney Tommy Thomas said that Vowell approached a duck blind with 3 friends and asked if he could hunt.
“Approximately 9:00, a boat approaches their blind, and that was the suspect, David Vowell. Mr. Vowell asked them if he could hunt out of that blind. They said yes. He started getting his gear together. A few seconds after that, the gun went off, and Mr. Grooms was shot,” Thomas said. “Just a few seconds after he arrived and asked if he could use the blind, and they said yes, and that’s when the survivor noticed him loading his gun, turned around and heard the gunshot, and he thought it was an accident.”
The survivor went to help his wounded friend Zachary Grooms. That is when Vowell grabbed another gun and shot Chance Black. The survivor pushed Vowell into the water and drove off in his boat with his two injured friends.
“He grabbed the gun away from Vowell. Hit him with it, knocked him out of the boat, and then he took off with the two injured friends in the boat,” Thomas said.
“The water at that place was shallow, around waist-deep. He turned around and saw that the suspect was in the water. He had gotten up out of the water and was walking towards the bank,” Thomas said.
Rising floodwaters have caused the search to be called off. Thomas believes it would be hard for Vowell to leave the wildlife refuge without being seen. The longer it takes to find Vowell, the less likely investigators expect him to be alive.
This case has become strange with seemingly no motive. Thomas floated the idea that it could be a mental illness or something they don’t know yet. We will update this story as more information comes in.