A NewsChannel 5 Investigates exclusive story has raised questions about a police murder investigation. It turns out detectives did not interview key witnesses. more>>
Police thought it was an open and shut case. They concluded a Nashville security guard shot a man in self defense.
NewsChannel 5 Investigates has uncovered details the initial police investigation missed.
Renea Rosson has fond memories of her son.
"This is the day he left for the military, kissing his daughter goodbye," she said
Rosson says her son, Tim Alumbaugh, was a devoted father and a peacemaker.
"He was the one that when there were fights he would say come on guys, chill out, stop this," she said.
So when a security guard shot and killed Tim in the summer of 2007, Rosson couldn't accept the police version of events - that Tim was the aggressor and the shooting was self defense.
"I hear my son at night saying ‘Mom, don't give up. I didn't do anything wrong. Don't give up,'" Rosson says.
She started her own investigation and was shocked by what she found.
"Shoddy police work. There was no investigation," she said.
The shooting happened at a truck stop on Trinity Lane. Everyone agrees that Tim Alumbaugh and his girlfriend arrived after 2 a.m., parked their car in a back lot and started having sex. A security guard came up on them, there was a struggle and Tim was shot in the chest.
The question is was it self defense or murder?
The security guard, 23-year-old Robert Mangrum, said Tim Alumbaugh attacked him.
"He was just really angry and out of control," Mangrum said during a taped deposition.
"He didn't really say anything. He was cussing, saying ‘You're just a security guard.' He asked me to step back. He came at me and grabbed my neck," Mangrum said.
Mangrum said Tim Alumbaugh knocked him to the ground and was lying on top of him.
"I grabbed my weapon pulled it out real quick and fired a round off," Mangrum said.
Pictures from that night showed no blood on Mangrum's uniform - even though he said Alumbaugh was on top of him when he shot.
NewsChannel 5 Investigates obtained the police interview with Tim's girlfriend, Lori McDunn, from the night of the shooting. It raises more questions.
"I couldn't believe it. I've never seen anything like it," McDunn told police. "I saw the guard pull his gun on Tim."
"Were they on the ground at this point?" a detective asked her.
"They were standing," she responded.
McDunn said the security guard took out his gun when they were still standing. That is different from Mangrum's claim he took out the gun when they were on the ground.
That night, McDunn told police Tim refused to listen when the security guard said he wanted to put handcuffs on him and arrest him.
Mangrum said he does not have the authority to arrest anyone.
"I have no powers to arrest. I have powers to detain," he said.
In his deposition, Mangrum said he regularly handcuffed people while working at the truck stop.
The interviewer asked Mangrum if the use of handcuffs was forcible detention.
"I don't think so," he responded.
Renea Rosson said Mangrum took the law into his own hands.
Police said there were no other witnesses. They interviewed the security guard and the girlfriend, and closed the case.
"It's hard for me to believe that you are at a truck stop on Trinity Lane and there are no witnesses." Rosson said.
NewsChannel 5 Investigates discovered there were witnesses. Truckers in the crowded parking lot called 911 to report the confrontation.
Police actually tied crime scene tape to the truck where the call came from, but they didn't talk to the people who made it.
Renea Rosson discovered the call one year after her son's death.
"I just wept because I finally had something. I finally had something that was there all along and Metro hadn't done anything," she said.
NewsChannel 5 Investigates tracked down the truckers who made that 911 call in Mississippi. Their story is different from what police heard from the first two witnesses.
Police have also talked with the truck drivers - and agreed to re-open the case. The investigation is continuing.