Employee says he's thankful to be alive after shootout at Smile Direct Club in Antioch

Posted at 4:58 PM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 19:28:38-04

ANTIOCH, Tenn. (WTVF) — Police say 22-year-old Antonio King opened fire at the Smile Direct Club warehouse on Antioch Pike Tuesday morning.

46-year-old security guard Hardin, 66-year-old security guard Carlton Watson, and 54-year-old manager Thomas Abott were shot.

However, it didn't stop there. Employee Derrick Brannon was getting ready for the start of his shift when he saw King continue to shoot in the parking lot.

Brannon immediately got out of his car and started running.

"He was shooting towards our direction this way and I was right there in the line of fire," Brannon said. "Bullets were ricocheting off light posts and you could hear it as we’re running."

King was eventually shot and killed by police Police said King was a day shift employee who started working at Smile Direct Club in June.

"I’ve seen him before. You never know what’s on someone’s mind or what they’re going through maybe this was the last straw of what he had going but didn’t like that he opened fire on everyone we didn’t deserve that," said Brannon.

Counselors were brought on the scene to assist employees who were there during the shooting.

As of Wednesday, two of the victims have been treated and released. Hardin is still recovering at the hospital. He was listed as critical Tuesday but is now listed as stable.

It's unclear how long Hardin will have to remain in the hospital but we're told he did have to undergo surgery.