A peaceful ride home Friday afternoon proved to be anything but relaxing for Roger Stewart. While making a trip back from London, Stewart was shot at while riding his scooter.
Driving home, he took Ky. 1304 from Ky. 229, a usual route home for Stewart. With rain imminent, he wanted to get home quickly so he wouldn’t be caught in a downpour while riding his scooter. After turning onto Ky. 1304, he came up on a green Ford Explorer, and he went to pass it. It was then things took a turn for the worst.
After Stewart passed the SUV, it went faster. Then, one of the passengers allegedly pointed a gun at him through the front passenger window and fired. Fortunately, Stewart was not hit.
“I don’t know how they missed me with as many guns as they had in that vehicle,” Stewart said in an exclusive interview with The Mountain Advocate on Friday afternoon.
As he dropped back to the rear of SUV, he said the driver started slowing down and speeding up. He didn’t want to risk passing them for fear of getting shot at again. He followed them on Ky. 1304 to Ky. 11, where he said they slowed down again in the straightaway near Deaton’s Salvage. It was then that Stewart pulled over and called law enforcement again.
After he continued on home, he saw the Ford Explorer parked at A&B Market, formerly Hoskins Market, on Ky. 11. He pulled over to a residence and called law enforcement again, but was informed there wasn’t anyone in the area at the moment. After going home to get his truck, Stewart came back to A&B where the Explorer was still parked. He called law enforcement again, and after a short time, Sgt. Carl Frith with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office arrived. The SUV was preparing to leave but Frith blocked them in with his cruiser.
“When I walked up to the car, I could see guns inside,” said Frith. “I asked the passenger who was supposed to have done the shooting to step out and when he opened his door, a .45 pistol fell out.”
Frith requested dispatch to send backup, and he was assisted at the scene by Det. Steve Owens and Officer Adam Townsley with the Barbourville Police Department. “When they got there to help me, we got them all out of the car and started searching,” said Frith. “There were guns everywhere.”
Arrested at the scene was the driver, James Thomas of Franklin, Ohio, who had previously identified himself as Dakota Lovins, Jellico, Tenn., who was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and no operator’s license. Thomas was wanted and considered dangerous. Also arrested were Douglas Edmonson, Gray, who was the alleged shooter, was charged with wanton endangerment and receiving stolen property (firearms); Anthony R. Skaggs, 32, Gray, charged with possession of a controlled substance (meth), drug paraphernalia and was booked on a warrant for failure to appear, and James King, 19, Corbin, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance (meth).
Among the items confiscated from the vehicle were several guns, drugs and drug paraphernalia.
All four men were booked and lodged into the Knox County Detention Center.