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Police chief says Bristol shooting victims targeted in Pigeon Forge

Staff Report • Mar 13, 2013 at 11:53 AM

PIGEON FORGE — Pigeon Forge police think a weekend double shooting that left a Bristol man dead and his father wounded was no random act.

“I think these people were targeted for some reason,” Pigeon Forge Police Chief Jack Baldwin said Tuesday.

“I don’t think this is random. I think there’s more to this than what we know right now.”

About 6:30 a.m. Sunday police were alerted to a shooting in the parking lot of the River South Lodge on the Parkway. Officers arrived to find Justin B. Dillard, 20, dying of at least one gunshot wound.

Dillard’s father, Travis B. Dillard, 47, also was shot and was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center where he was listed in stable condition. Baldwin said Travis Dillard had been shot in a leg. Travis Dillard called E-911 to report the shooting.

At the time of the shooting, Travis Dillard told police he and his son were sitting in a white Nissan pickup truck when a man approached and asked for money. When the men provided no money, the assailant wordlessly shot both Dillards, according to Dillard’s version.

Travis Dillard described the assailant as a black man, 5-foot-10 inches tall, with dreadlocks, and wearing a purple shirt and jeans. He fled the area in a white sedan, possibly a Buick.

Officers found shell casings at the shooting scene, indicating the weapon was a semiautomatic firearm, Baldwin said.

Baldwin said investigators have since interviewed Travis Dillard in the hospital.

“Basically, we’re getting the same story we got before,” the chief said.

An autopsy was performed Monday on Justin Dillard, Baldwin said. The chief declined to say how many times Justin Dillard had been shot because of the ongoing probe.

The Dillards are from Bristol and had been staying in Pigeon Forge for a couple days. Travis Dillard told police he and his son were planning on building a house in Knoxville and staying in Pigeon Forge in the meantime.

Both Dillards have criminal histories, records show. The younger Dillard faced charges of aggravated burglary, auto theft and identity theft in Sullivan County. Travis Dillard has multiple drunken driving charges, a theft charge and probation violation offenses, records show.

No weapons or drugs were found in the pickup truck the Dillards occupied, the chief said.

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