What should have been a regular Tuesday morning at a manufacturing plant quickly turned bloody.
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.
The following, age restricted, video is the 911 dispatch audio from the disturbing calls for help.
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.
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.
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.
Reports say that when King refused to drop his weapon he was shot by at least two of the responding officers.
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.”
This was a terrible incident that will definitely effect the lives of many. Not just those who were injured but, the officers, King's family and those who may have had to witness the shooting.
We are thankful that the bodycam footage was released so quickly and that no one has to question or wonder what actually happened.