MNPD: 3 employees shot at Smile Direct Club warehouse; suspect shot, killed by police

Posted at 6:49 AM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-09 14:36:39-04

ANTIOCH, Tenn. (WTVF)  — Three employees were shot Tuesday morning at a Smile Direct Club warehouse in Antioch, and the suspected gunman was shot and killed by officers, according to Metro Nashville Police officials.

Metro Police released the names of those shot:

  • 46-year-old Johnny Hardin, a security guard - remains in hospital in stable condition
  • 66-year old Carlton Watson a security guard - taken to hospital for treatment and released Wednesday
  • 54-year old Thomas Abbott, a manager - treated and released following the incident

WATCH: Surveillance and MNPD body cam video below

The call came in around 6 a.m. at 1530 Antioch Pike, not far from Haywood Lane. Metro police identified the suspect as 22-year-old Antonio D. King, of Nashville. Police say King was a day shift employee who started working at Smile Direct Club in June. He also worked there from late 2019 to early 2020.

Kristin Mumford with MNPD says King walked in just before shift change, and opened fire, but didn't hit anyone. He then began a shootout with security officers from outside the building.

Antonio King fires at Smile Direct Club.
Antonio King fires at Smile Direct Club.

Three employees were hit: One in the chest, one in the abdomen and one in the in the leg. One of the victims is in critical condition. A fourth person injured their ankle while running.

Mumford says it is believed that at that point King was also wounded by their gunfire.


Police said as officers were responding to the call, the suspect left the building, and officers spotted him at the intersection of Antioch Pike and Franklin Limestone Road.

MNPD Spokesperson Don Aaron says King was carrying a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine. Officers demanded that he drop the gun, but Aaron said King did not and was "directing the gun at officers."

Officer Dylan Ramos' body cam video shows him yelling "Drop the weapon. Drop the weapon. Drop it now." King does not comply.

Screen Shot 2021-08-03 at 6.20.33 PM.png
Body cam video

Officers Dylan Ramos and Cherell Kinchloe both fired shots at King. Officers placed him into custody and rendered aid until an ambulance arrived. He was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he died.

The shots fired by Officer Kinchloe are under review by the police department. Because it's a police-involved shooting, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will conduct the investigation.

WATCH: Full press conference from Metro police

Sky 5 aerials show windows of the warehouse were shot out.

Metro's Community Oversight Board said its investigators and executive director were on scene and briefed by both MNPD and TBI officials. The board said it's waiting to view the bodycam video of the officers involved once it becomes available.

Smile Direct Club released the following statement:

“Although 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.”

Metro Council Member Tanaka Vercher also tweeted, in part: "I have no words. Another unfortunate tweet about a shooting for our community."