A Running Feud Is The Reason Behind A Fitness Club Shooting

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Knoxville (WVLT) – Since Wednesday night, police have said they will not be bringing charges against a man they believe shot another, inside an East Knoxville fitness club.

What exactly happened is known only by the two men involved.

One of them is in the hospital and the others been unreachable, but it seems all the alleged shooter may lose, is his health club membership.

“These two gentlemen knew each other,” said the Rush’s Larry Gurney. “We found out that this was caused at a local bar.”

Larry wishes he'd known about that old grudge, before it wound up in his gym at Knoxville Center Mall.

“It ended up continuing inside our locker room.”

“One guy was attacked, knocked to the ground and was being choked,” said Darrell DeBusk with the Knoxville Police Department. “The guy that was being choked pulled out a .22 caliber handgun and shot it one time.”

The shot in self defense hit Erik Joseph Knight-Dockins, 29 in the gut.

He remains in serious condition at UT Medical Center and police say he is the one most likely to face charges.

”They determined no charges will be placed on the individual that had the gun,” DeBusk said.

Knight-Dockins is no stranger to the law.

Six years ago he admitted to assaulting the same woman twice and has also done time for burglary.

His alleged shooter, Kristopher Kitts, 29 has a concealed weapons permit.

Tennessee law allows businesses to ban weapons, permit or no, but they have to let their customers or members know it.

“He was not supposed to have a gun,” Gurney said.

The Rush spells out that weapons ban in the fine-print of the contract Gurney says both Kitts and Knight-Dockins had to sign for membership.

From now on, it’ll be out front, in bold type, posted at the members check-in desk where there'll be no questions.

But how would any business enforce it?

Gurney says he's all for keeping the Rush's members safe, but short of a search, not much can be done.

“Any member or any customer of any business can be walking into that business and not knowing what might take place,” he said.

The Rush has now permanently barred Kristopher Kitts and Erik Joseph Knight-Dockins from its clubs.

Unless it sues, it can't do much more.

Tennessee law has no criminal penalty or charge simply for violating a private businesses ban on carrying a gun if you have a valid carry permit.

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