3 employees shot, suspected gunman killed at workplace shooting on Antioch Pike

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ANTIOCH, Tenn. (WKRN) — Three employees at an Antioch manufacturing facility were shot and the suspected gunman died after he was shot by Metro officers while fleeing the building early Tuesday morning.

Officers were called to the SmileDirectClub complex at 1530 Antioch Pike just after 6 a.m. Metro police reported the first 911 calls came in at 5:58 a.m.

In a 911 call provided in a video edited by Metro police, the caller informs the dispatch operator a security guard was shot. He then told the dispatch operator they cleared the office area and tried to clear the parking lot while some people sought shelter between the vehicles. The caller informed the dispatch operator the shooter was still walking next to the building.

DISCLAIMER: The following video was provided and edited by the Metro Nashville Police Department. This video is not appropriate for all ages.

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Metro police reported 22-year-old Antonio King, who worked the day shift at the facility, came to the building during shift change and opened fire. Police said the investigation indicates King fired his 45 caliber semi-automatic pistol without anyone being wounded. The video provided by Metro police shows King then engaged in a shootout with security guards through the doors of the facility. Investigators believe King was also wounded by their gunfire.

According to Metro police, he fired more than 20 shots. A total of three employees were shot; one was shot in the chest, another in the abdomen and a third in the leg, according to Metro police. The three victims have been identified as 46-year-old Johnny Hardin, 66-year-old Carlton Watson and 54-year-old Thomas Abbott.

Antonio King
Antonio King (Source: MNPD)

Hardin is in critical condition and Watson is in stable condition. Both men are security guards employed by Allied Universal Security. Abbott is a manager and has been treated and released.

  • Smile Direct shooting
  • Smile Direct shooting
  • Smile Direct shooting
  • Smile Direct shooting
  • Smile Direct shooting

Another employee injured their leg as they were running away from the shooting. Metro police reported responding officers arrived on the scene within five minutes.

King fled from the building and encountered Metro officers at the intersection of Antioch Pike and Franklin Limestone Road. A Metro police spokesperson said officers repeatedly demanded King to drop his gun, which was a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine, but he did not.

Metro police said King then directed the gun toward the officers and was shot by at least two officers. Officers rendered aid and the suspect was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he died.

The officers who fired at the gunman were identified as Officer Dylan Ramos, who joined the force in August 2020, and Officer Cherell Kinchloe, who joined the force in March 2021.

Metro police said the actions of Officer Kinchloe firing two shots, given the vantage point represented by her body-worn video, are under review by the police department.

King had only worked at the business since June 2021 and also worked there from late 2019 to early 2020, according to Metro police.

SmileDirectClub released a statement regarding the shooting, which reads:

“SmileDirectClub is saddened at the shooting that took place at its manufacturing facilities this morning. The incident was contained quickly by security personnel on site. The safety of our team members is a top priority for our Company and we maintain strict security protocols and a no weapons policy at all of our facilities. We are working with the local police as they investigate this matter.”

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said TBI special agents and forensic scientists are working to independently investigate the shooting incident and its team will gather all relevant evidence, interviews and details.

Those findings will be shared with the District Attorney General for his review and consideration.

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