ANTIOCH, Tenn. (WKRN) – The SmileDirectClub facility on Antioch Pike employs several hundred people and many were visibly shaken after a 22-year-old employee came in during a shift change Tuesday morning and opened fire.
News 2 spoke with one woman off-camera who was pacing in a nearby parking lot shortly after 6:30 a.m. She said she got a call from her daughter, who has worked at the warehouse for two years, about the shooting. The mother ran out of bed in her pajamas and drove down to the facility as fast as she could, waiting to reunite with her.
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Several employees were seen exiting the building’s parking lot around 7:30 a.m. One woman said her legs were still shaking and she was on the other end of the building when it happened.
Two employees News 2 spoke to on-camera said they were late to work today by just a few minutes.
“To be honest, to be late was a good thing for now, but usually to be late to work is not good,” said Esperance Borota, who is from La Vergne and has worked at the warehouse since 2019. She arrived shortly after the gunman first opened fire.
“I feel sad and it’s scary, I’ve been talking to people who have been crying,” Borota said.
Lomoro Soroba, an employee for the last two years, used to work with the gunman, Antonio D. King, on the same production line. He recently switched departments.
“He’s a good quiet guy, I don’t know what happened,” Soroba said. “It’s so sad and he’s just gone. His life ended. Someone said he asked police ‘why are you following me?’”
Another witness said the shooter asked people “why are you running away from me?”
Soroba said he and other staff members will feel scared walking into the building again. They are hoping security is increased even more in the future.
Dozens of employees left their cars in the parking lot and had to wait for a couple of hours behind crime scene tape before getting access to their vehicles again.