Friday, May 25, 2007

Man with Gun Saves Womans Life

"Woman claims double murder suspects broke into her home
May 23, 2007
By ERICA ESTEP 6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- There is a new twist in the January murders of Christopher Newsom and Channon Christian. An East Knoxville woman says the suspects in the case broke into her home just a day before the couple was carjacked.

The single mother is afraid for her safety, so 6 News is protecting her identity. She lives less than a mile from the crime scene of the gruesome double murder on Chipman Street.

Her home was invaded by armed men a day before Newsom and Christian were carjacked. She says they are connected.

"I heard a big boom...they kicked...they kicked the door in."

The scuff marks are still visible where her front door was kicked in. She couldn't believe what happened next.

"I ran back into the room and they start shooting my door down," the woman says.

She says the suspects tried to get inside her bedroom. The door to the room is now ripped at the bottom.

The young mother's 13-year-old son and two friends were just a couple rooms away.

"I was screaming... ya'll stay down," she says.

But there was someone else in the house. A male friend who had a gun of his own. He shot back and the suspects took off.

Knoxville police responded and took pictures of the damage. Two weeks passed and then she says police returned.

"They brushed it off. Until these people get killed, then they take stuff serious," the woman says.

According to the woman, the police asked to come back and remove the bullets. She says they wanted to look for fingerprints and determine if the suspects were connected to the double murder.

She says police cut a panel from her wall and showed her photos of the double murder suspects. The victim says she recognized at least one of them as the man she saw that night.

"Actually at the door, I knew that big face. I knew one of the faces, the one that kicked the door in," she says.

While the victim says a detective told her the crimes were connected, Knoxville police will not confirm or deny that. They only say the investigation is still open.

When asked about national speculation that the double murders were racially motivated, the woman says, "I don't think it's a hate crime because I am a young, single black person, an African-American and they came after me."