A Tennessee man faces several charges, including attempted murder, after authorities say he shot his neighbor and later threatened to kill a Clarksville Police detective, all following a racially charged altercation last month.
On Friday, Aug. 27, Steven Andrew Russell, a white man, was charged with attempted murder after his neighbor was found with multiple gunshot wounds, Clarksville Now recently reported.
According to court records obtained from the news outlet, on Thursday, Aug. 26, police responded to calls of a shooting in the Summit Heights area. However, while on their way, 911 received a second call, but this time from Russell.
The 61-year-old told emergency personnel that he had shot and killed his neighbor, whose identity has not yet been made to the public, but he is Black.
Investigators revealed that before the incident, Russell and his neighbor had already had a less-than pleasant exchange. “This altercation was the result of prolonged racial tension initiated by Russell towards (his neighbor),” the court records said.
Russell is accused of tormenting his neighbor to the point the neighbor took action and struck the man with his walking cane, a CPD spokesperson Scott Beaubien said. That’s when Russell reportedly pulled out a .22 caliber revolver and fired at the victim, hitting his arm. The man escaped to his front porch.
Russell kept firing until he emptied his weapon before striking the man one last time, then fled the scene.
The neighbor was ultimately transported to Tennova Healthcare-Clarksville with non-life-threatening injuries. Russell also told officers that his neighbor had hit him with a stick, and he was also taken in for medical attention for a minor abrasion on his face.
Police say Russell told investigators he discarded the firearm in a nearby storm drain to avoid being used against him. Yet, when officers searched the area, they were unable to find the gun. Instead, they found a 12-gauge shotgun that appeared in the National Crime Information Center as stolen.
The man said the shotgun was allegedly for his friend and that he found it months before.
He admitted to shooting his neighbor, claiming he feared for his life. He also expressed happiness over shooting the victim and wished death upon the man, whom he used “racial names” for when referring to him.
The documents stated that when informed that the victim would survive, Russell told authorities he would “kill him again” and “shoot him between the eyes.”
After learning of his charges, the man reportedly became even more irate, said he still had the weapon, and following his release, he would kill the lead detective.
Russell is facing the aforementioned attempted murder charge, along with an order for tampering with evidence and theft of property. He is scheduled for a court hearing on Sept. 10. A public defender has been appointed.