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Veteran recounts seeing I-40 chase, shooting with son in the car

A Knoxville man and his son were driving down Interstate 40 Tuesday night when they rolled right into the middle of a shootout between officers and suspects involved in a chase.
Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 7:59 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Knoxville man and his son were driving down Interstate 40 Tuesday night when they rolled right into the middle of a shootout between officers and suspects involved in a chase.

“We were headed home, we were leaving Eagle Karate Systems actually. When your son wants to become a power ranger, you become a power ranger,” said Morring.

George Morring says his day went from father-and-son time with his son, Gage, to confusion when he got on the interstate. He said he knew something wasn’t right.

“We’re driving. A couple more exits until we’re there and I kept looking through my rear view mirror, and I kept seeing all the police cars coming in my direction,” Mooring.

“I saw a state trooper. They were pulling the spikes back, so I knew they had gotten his tires. So, we got around and we came around another curb, close to I guess Broadway. I knew where I was so I took a small video of it,” said Mooring.

He said he grabbed his pistol and told his son to hide.

“Then it hits me. I said, ‘son, unbuckle your seatbelt and get on the floorboard,' and he said, ‘why daddy?‘” Morring said his son repeated his question, and he told him to get on the floorboard again. When Gage did, Morring said he asked, “why” again.

“I said just in case they start shooting you’re safe.”

Morring said officers fired shots at the two people who were in the car.

“I didn’t hear any of the gunshots. I’m actually glad about that just for the sense that my son didn’t hear the violence,” said Mooring.

He remembers seeing the passenger of the car, now identified as Mario Enrique Mejia Moya. Moya remains hospitalized.

The name of the deceased individual, who was wanted out of Florida on murder charges, is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

“The look on his face I knew something bad was gonna happen. It was a face I’ve seen before and the way he was kind of content smiling with his face. It’s like he knew what they were about to do and what was going to happen,” said Mooring.

Mooring says he eventually was turned away by officers working the scene.

“I saw this police officer walking back, and I asked him if everybody was all right, and his only response was as good as they can be I guess,” said Mooring.

The TBI said a patrolman and an officer did have some minor injuries.

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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