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Police chief says alleged downtown Johnson City shooter could face federal charge in wake of slaying

March 24th, 2014 7:27 am by Max Hrenda

Police chief says alleged downtown Johnson City shooter could face federal charge in wake of slaying

Jamarcus L. Jackson

A Johnson City man was arrested on murder charges after police said he shot four people outside of a downtown nightclub.

On Sunday morning, Johnson City police arrested Jamarcus Lavelle Jackson, 24, 1211 King Springs Road, and charged him with killing DeShaun Wesley Greer, 24, 1412 E. Cedar St., Bristol, Va., and trying to kill Greer’s brother, Jamison Lewis Greer, 20, also of 1412 E. Cedar St., Bristol, Va., in the parking lot outside The Battery, located at 601 Spring St.

The Greers were taken to Johnson City Medical Center for treatment, where DeShaun Greer was pronounced dead.

In addition to the Greers, Zachary Breedlove, 23, 159 Alfalfa Lane, Jonesborough, and Jonathan McInturff, 27, 944 Larry Mills Lane, No. 1, Kingsport, were also treated for gunshot wounds.

According to the affidavit of complaint, police responded to the parking lot at around 3 a.m. to find DeShaun Greer with gunshot wounds to his chest and lower back area, while Jamison Greer had wounds to his upper back and shoulder area. Members of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Tennessee Highway Patrol also responded to the scene.

Officers also saw that bystanders were restraining Jackson, who, according to the affidavit, they identified as the shooter. Police then took Jackson and a gun — a Smith & Wesson M&P .40-caliber pistol — into custody. After searching Jackson, police said, officers found a green, leafy substance that was later identified as marijuana.

JCPD Chief Mark Sirois said evidence and witness statements indicated that Jackson and the Greer brothers may have been involved in an altercation prior to the shots being fired, but that he was unaware as to what Jackson’s motivation may have been for allegedly shooting the Greers.

“At this point, we haven’t been able to determine (motive),” Sirois said. “What we’re getting is, it started out as a verbal (argument), then a physical confrontation, and then it escalated to gunfire.”

Sirois added there was “no indication” that either Breedlove or McInturff were involved in any altercation prior to shots being fired.

Jackson was charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in the death and injury to DeShaun Greer and Jamison Greer, respectively. In addition, he was also charged with aggravated assault for the injury to Breedlove, and reckless endangerment for the injury to McInturff, simple possession of a schedule VI drug, and unlawful possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

The last charge, according to Sirois, may draw the interest of federal prosecutors.

“That has the potential for federal prosecution,” Sirois said. “The purpose, of course, for that would be more stringent sentencing.”

Sirois added, however, it was too early to know if any charges would be pursued in federal court.

Jackson was convicted of robbery on July 19, 2009, and was serving part of his six-year sentence on probation during Sunday’s incident.

Jackson was taken to the Washington County Detention Center, where he was being held in lieu of a $200,000 bond. He will appear in Sessions Court today to face his charges.

While Jackson’s alleged role in the incident has yet to be determined, the incident itself marked another time in which a violent crime has occurred in that parking lot, located at the corner of West State of Franklin Road and Cherry Street. According to Sirois, that area, along with several others, was “targeted” by the Targeted Community Crime Reduction Program — an $800,000 state grant aimed at reducing crime. Sirois said he has used some of those funds to increase patrols in some of the city’s more problematic areas, including that parking lot.

“We do recognize that, over a number of years, that particular area of town has been a challenge, from a crime standpoint,” Sirois said. “One of the aspects of that grant is putting officers on an overtime basis ... during those times when we have a number of issues come up. If you go downtown, and you go to that area, you’ll notice we do have more officers out ... to try to address those issues.”

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