3 employees shot at Tennessee Smile Direct Club facility; suspect killed by police

·2 min read

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Three people were shot at a business in a Nashville suburb after a person opened fire there early Tuesday, police said.

The shooting was reported at 5:58 a.m. at a Smile Direct Club on Antioch Pike.

A male employee entered the building during a shift change and opened fire, Metro Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron said at a news conference. 

Metro Police investigate a shooting after an employee opened fire and shot three other employees at the Smile Direct Club warehouse Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.
Metro Police investigate a shooting after an employee opened fire and shot three other employees at the Smile Direct Club warehouse Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.

The three employees injured by gunfire were alive when transported to the hospital for treatment, one in critical condition, authorities said. 

After the shooting, officers found a man, identified by Nashville police as 22-year-old Antonio D. King, armed with a gun at a nearby intersection. The officers asked King to drop the gun, Aaron said, but he pointed it at the officers. 

Officers shot the man, who died after he was taken to the hospital at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Aaron said. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is handling the investigation because it involves a shooting by police.

No motive has been released for the shooting.

A Smile Direct employee uses her phone as Metro Police investigate a shooting after an employee opened fire and shot three other employees at the Smile Direct Club warehouse Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.
A Smile Direct employee uses her phone as Metro Police investigate a shooting after an employee opened fire and shot three other employees at the Smile Direct Club warehouse Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.

King began working for the company in June, a release from the department said. He had previously worked for Smile Direct Club between late 2019 and early 2020, police said. 

Fire department personnel took five people to area hospitals, spokesman Joseph Pleasant said. EMTs and paramedics from the department were the first on the scene, he said. 

.oembed-frame {width:100%;height:100%;margin:0;border:0;}

One employee was shot in the chest, one in the abdomen and one in the leg. Another employee injured an ankle while running.

Two MNPD officers fired at King, Aaron said: Dylan Ramos, who entered the academy in October 2019, and Cherell Kinchlowe, who entered the academy last August. 

Neither officer was injured by gunfire, Aaron said. The investigation is ongoing after reports King may have fired at the officers, he added. 

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will handle the investigation because it involves a shooting by police. The agency confirmed special agents and forensic scientists were on scene as of 8:30 a.m.

Smile Direct Club, which produces teeth straightening products, has been headquartered in Nashville since 2016. On-site security personnel "contained" the incident, the company said in a statement, adding it was "saddened" by the shooting.

Metro Police investigate a shooting after an employee opened fire and shot three other employees at the Smile Direct Club warehouse Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.
Metro Police investigate a shooting after an employee opened fire and shot three other employees at the Smile Direct Club warehouse Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.

 "The safety of our team members is a top priority for our company and we maintain strict security protocols," the company said in a statement. "We are working with the local police as they investigate this matter."

.oembed-frame {width:100%;height:100%;margin:0;border:0;}

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Follow Natalie Neysa Alund on Twitter: @nataliealund.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Smile Direct Club shooting: 3 shot, suspect killed near Nashville