THANK YOU to all voters

August 7, 2008

Thursday is Decision Day.

The early votes and absentee ballots have been cast and are waiting to be counted and the day-of-election voters will go to the polls today to make their choices for Knox County.

Thank you for letting me into your online lives via this blog for the past month.

There have been more than 3,000 page views in the 30 days that it was up and running with a one-day high of 397 “hits” yesterday. Today’s hit total is on pace to break that mark.

I have enjoyed “blogging” and now understand why it is such an effective way to reach people. It allows me to speak directly to you.

Thank you for all the feedback and comments and emails.

And thank you for your suggestions about how to be the right sheriff for Knox County.

I would very much appreciate your vote today.

Remember, this time YOU decide!


Randy and Mary Pat Tyree

The Tyrees – Randy and Mary Pat


Hypocrisy and chutzpah

August 6, 2008

I’d say that about wraps up the interim/appointed sheriff, J.J. Jones.

He decries the fact Joan Berry endorsed my campaign as a political move but says nothing about slapping his stickers on Johnia Berry’s posters and taking credit for the family’s tireless efforts.

He treated the 2007 arrest of a suspect in her 2004 death like a back-slapping party and made a statement in front of a family member that reduced it to a sporting feat by a quarterback.

His website calls into question my handling of the city as mayor. That is the height of hypocrisy from a man who had to be forced to pay child support.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel covered this story in 1997.

Copyright: Knoxville News-Sentinel – May 21, 1997

A chancellor has ordered the Knox County Sheriff’s Department to pay $1,600 in child support on behalf of its chief of detectives.

According to Knox County Deputy Finance Director Steve de Mik, this is the first time taxpayers have been ordered to foot a child support bill.

“I’ve never seen it before,” de Mik said. “Back in payroll, they were going, ‘What is this?’ ”

The judgment arose from a pending divorce between KCSD Chief of Detectives Jimmy “J.J.” Jones and Susan Jones, who is an officer with the Knoxville Police Department.

A divorce action was filed in September 1995, and the case is set for trial next month, records show.

The couple have two children, a 5-year-old boy and a boy who was born four months after the divorce was filed.

On December 9, 1996, Susan Jones ‘ attorney, Jeffrey A. Woods, obtained an order garnishing $542 from Jimmy Jones’ bi-weekly checks from the Sheriff’s Department. The garnishment was sent by certified mail to KCSD, records show.

On Jan. 24, 1997, Woods petitioned Knox County Chancellor Fred McDonald for a hearing because the Sheriff’s Department had not garnished Jimmy Jones’ wages.

In the meantime, Woods contacted de Mik’s office about the garnishment.

“That order was never sent to our office,” de Mik said. “We didn’t know about it until the plaintiff’s attorney called us.” The garnishment was instituted on Jan. 24. A hearing was conducted Feb. 21 before McDonald, but no one from the Sheriff’s Department showed, records state.

McDonald on March 19 issued the order for the KCSD to pay the amount that should have been withheld from Jimmy Jones’ paychecks in December and January.

Under state law, an employer that fails to garnish an employee’s wages becomes liable for the amount of the court-ordered withholdings.

McDonald’s order was sent March 20 to the KCSD, records show, but no action was taken.

Jimmy Jones wrote a personal check on April 15 for $1,084 and sent it to the finance department, but de Mik said no one knew what it was for, so it was placed in a vault at the payroll department.

When The Knoxville News-Sentinel contacted de Mik last week about McDonald’s order, he realized why Jimmy Jones’ check was written.

“The whole thing was brought to our attention with your phone call,” de Mik said. “The Sheriff’s Department said they were being represented by the law department, but the law department said they knew nothing about it.”

Knox County Law Director Richard Beeler said Tuesday his office “didn’t know anything about this until de Mik called us.”

Mike Ruble, chief administrator at KCSD, who also serves as the agency’s attorney, did not return phone calls for comment.

The check for $1,626 was issued Monday to the court, de Mik said, and Jimmy Jones’ personal check will be cashed.

“The sheriff will have to go back to the employee to collect the outstanding amount,” de Mik said. “This really isn’t a burden on the taxpayers because we’ll be collecting it from the employee. But even if we don’t collect anything from the employee, we will still pay the judgment.”

Woods said the episode “has been very frustrating. Typically it is the Sheriff’s Department that serves these things, but they didn’t serve it on themselves.”

Jimmy Jones declined comment Tuesday because the divorce is pending. He referred questions to his attorney, Tommy Hindman.

“I think my client has done everything he’s supposed to do,” Hindman said while declining further comment.

All of the above was reported in 1997. Some of the comments under the paper’s coverage of the Berry endorsement made reference to this, too, so it’s not a secret.

If not for the paper’s reporting in 1997, it would have never come to light.

It is very telling when the man who would be sheriff has to be forced to pay child support and his employer, who happened to be Tim Hutchison, conveniently forgot to garnish the wages and nearly stuck the taxpayers with the bill.

J.J. Jones hugs Tim Hutchison

Pair.jpg picture by photosrus_070

Jones and Hutchison celebrate on “Black Wednesday.”

His own man? Ha! Ha! Ha!

And since it’s Wednesday:

Jones and Hutchison are terrified I might win Thursday.

Why? Because my first act will be to order an independent audit and justify every expenditure in the sheriff’s department from helicopters to bulldozers to cars to lease agreements to contracts.

The gravy train would dry up for a lot of people who have been rewarded for blind loyalty (and rewarded with personal financial gain) and forgot who they really answer to – YOU.

That is YOUR money. Not theirs.


Knox County has a chance Thursday to take back our sheriff’ department and take it away from those who have used it to enrich their personal lives.

Remember, this time YOU decide!

Choose wisely.


P.S. My wife and son placed thousands of campaign flyers in tubes in Knox County neighborhoods over the past two days. Hopefully the Knox County commissioner – he knows who he is – that was caught yanking up my campaign sign didn’t steal these, too.

tyfly-1.jpg picture by photosrus_070

How low can he go?

August 6, 2008

J.J. Jones planted his feet up on a desk, smiled at the people in the room and said he now knows how it feels when Peyton Manning throws a touchdown pass.

He was talking about the 2007 arrest of a suspect in a murder case.

And the victim’s brother was waiting in the room.

An act of eye-popping self-aggrandizement by J.J. Jones.

It took a month for Kelly Burke to tell his mother, Joan Berry, about the sheriff’s boastful analogy of a sporting event to making an arrest in the murder of Johnia Berry.

Burke was staggered by the remark at a time when he was reliving the emotions and horrid details of his sister’s stabbing death in 2004.

On Tuesday, Burke and Joan Berry were at my headquarters to voluntarily endorse my campaign for sheriff. I didn’t seek their support and Joan Berry noted she is not a political person.

Her sole motive was to ensure that the next sheriff of Knox County will always avail himself of any help offered to solve crimes and won’t be rebuffed as she was by Tim Hutchison and then Jones.

Burke bristled at Jones’ notion that he would not politicize Johnia Berry’s death. Burke noted when he walked into a Food City and saw one of the thousands of posters and flyers that the family had distributed to keep the public focused on the case, he saw a large sticker affixed to the poster with Jones’ name boasting that the crime was solved.

The poster had been placed in the store by the family, not the appointed sheriff, but Jones felt the need to promote himself.

On Tuesday, Burke characterized as “asinine” Jones’ statement that he was not politicizing his sister’s death and said that Jones taking credit for the family’s efforts stopped him in his tracks that day.

This same interim sheriff had declined all outside help, including that offered by the TBI and “America’s Most Wanted.” The family believes the case could have been solved sooner had the sheriff accepted outside help. Refusing to do so was the epitome of arrogance.

Now we have arrogance from Jones to the nth degree – from reducing a murder arrest to a touchdown pass, to taking credit away from the family, to pontificating Tuesday.

J.J. Jones had this to say Tuesday:  “What’s next? This is Tyree politics as usual. I refuse to participate in the exploitation of the murder of a young woman for political gain.”

You already have done so J.J. when you compared an arrest to a touchdown pass with the grieving relative in the room in an act of shocking self-aggrandizement. When you slapped your sticker on the family’s poster of their loved one after being in office for just a short time.

And you asked what’s next from me? I ask you the same thing. I wonder how low you can go.

The News Sentinel, WATE-Channel 6, WVLT-Channel 8 and WBIR-Channel 10 have coverage with photos and video:

Remember, this time YOU decide.


tyfly-1.jpg picture by photosrus_070

Save the Hemi for the racetrack

August 5, 2008

The budget for the Knox County Sheriff’s Office is $60 million dollars annually.

That’s a lot of money – your money! My opponent has spent a lot of time attempting to call in to question whether or not I am capable of managing this budget. I believe my background and experience speak for themselves, but in the meantime, let me tell you what I won’t do as your Sheriff.

You have my commitment that I will never drive a police car that’s equipped differently from those assigned to the officers on patrol.

I don’t need a leather-trimmed interior or a 6.1 liter Hemi engine to be an effective Sheriff. “JJ” apparently doesn’t feel the same way, since he and his Chief Deputy both drive Dodge SRT8 Chargers.

Now, the SRT8 Charger is a really nice car.

It looks like this:

But do the Sheriff and his chief really need cars that cost over $38,000 each? The officers putting themselves in harm’s way manage to do their jobs very well in a $22,000 version of the same car.

“J.J.” Jones spent some $80,000 in taxpayer dollars to equip himself and his top assistant in street-legal race cars.

That’s money that could have put additional cruisers on the street, in the hands of uniformed officers, or for improving officers’ salaries.

My wife, Mary Pat, and I have been making treks throughout the county, and we keep hearing the same thing – too much money in the sheriff’s office is spent on the wrong things.

My first act if elected sheriff is to order an audit of the department and determine where money should and should NOT be spent. Extravagant cruisers for the sheriff and his chief are the FIRST place to cut costs.

Remember, this time YOU decide!


Why I want to be sheriff

August 5, 2008

WBIR-TV, Channel 10 offered candidates a chance to film a short video as to why we should be elected.

The link is here:

My video is here:

Thank you to Channel 10 for this opportunity. Anytime a candidate can connect directly to the voters it’s a good thing for the election process.

We are in the stretch run this week with the election this Thursday, Aug. 7. As I said in the news media this past week, the voters know me and they know my opponent. It’s their decision.

I was humbled this week by an endorsement from Joan Berry, the mother of Johnia Berry, who was slain in 2002. The Berry family offered their support for my campaign, and I gratefully accepted.

Winston Churchill observed that “we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

The Berry family has given the lion’s share of their heart after Johnia was killed. They could have succumbed to the grief. Instead, they wanted to make this community safer.

Joan Berry and I will hold a press conference Tuesday. A press release was sent Monday to the news media:



DATE: Aug. 4, 2008

SUBJECT: Berry family endorsement

Randy Tyree, the Democratic candidate for Knox County sheriff, will hold a press conference Tuesday at his election headquarters at 10330 Technology Drive off Pellissippi Parkway.

The press conference will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5, and will be attended by Tyree and Joan Berry, the mother of Johnia Berry.

The Berry family had concerns about the 2004 unsolved murder of their daughter and felt that then-Sheriff Tim Hutchison was unwilling to accept investigation assistance from the TBI and was preventing the case from being featured on “America’s Most Wanted,” a national television show that helps solve crimes and locate suspects.

Randy Tyree declined to raise the issue during the 2006 election campaign because the murder remained unsolved, and he didn’t want to say or do anything that could compromise the case or politicize the death of Johnia Berry.

“Losing someone you love is difficult enough, but losing someone to an unwarranted, horrific act of violence is beyond words,” Joan Berry said. “And that is exactly what happened to us. Our lives were changed when we got the call on the morning of December 6th, 2004, telling us that Johnia had been stabbed to death. We drove to the hospital that morning, buried Johnia that Thursday and then began our mission to find the person responsible for her death.

“Over the next few years, we dealt with our grief while working very hard to find the killer. Family and friends joined us in passing out thousands of fliers. A reward was offered. Billboards were posted across the area. Detectives with the Knox County Sheriff’s Department worked extremely hard to solve the crime. And all the while, Sheriff Tim Hutchison refused to accept outside assistance from the TBI and other outlets that could have, in our honest opinion, helped immensely.”

Hutchison won re-election in 2006 and then was ousted by a court decision over term limits for county officeholders. J.J. Jones, the interim sheriff, was appointed to the position, removed from office because the process broke the state’s Sunshine laws and then was reappointed in compliance with the law.

 “Once Tim Hutchison was replaced by J.J. Jones, we were hopeful that the new Sheriff would be more willing to accept the assistance of outside resources,” Joan Berry said. “He was not. Instead, we felt that Sheriff Jones was continuing along the same path as Mr. Hutchison. Even still, we were not deterred in our effort to find justice for our daughter. We stayed true to our mission of keeping Johnia’s case in the public eye in hopes that someone would finally come forward with the information we were so desperately seeking. And, thankfully, that day finally arrived.”

Taylor Lee Olson was arrested in 2007 and charged with the brutal stabbing death of Johnia Berry, a 21-year-old graduate of East Tennessee State University who had moved to Knoxville to pursue graduate studies at the University of Tennessee.

On March 24, 2008, Olson, 22, used a bed sheet to hang himself from a clothes hook in jail.

The Berry family believes a highly politicized sheriff’s department led by Hutchison and now Jones hindered the case from being solved much sooner, and the family believes Tyree will work to remove the culture of turf protection from the department.

“Though this is still a very difficult and heartbreaking time in our lives, the only thing I can now do is try to help others,” Joan Berry said. “Losing someone you love is beyond words and that’s something that you cannot change. But if you ever lose someone to a violent crime, you shouldn’t have to struggle with a system that should be working with, and not against you. You do have a say in changing the system.

“Being Sheriff should not be about politics. Being Sheriff should be about doing everything in your power to ensure the safety and harmony of the community. The Sheriff should be accountable to the citizens who have entrusted them with this very important position.

“This is why I am supporting Randy Tyree in the race for Knox County Sheriff. While I don’t live in Knoxville, I still have family there and I believe it’s time for a change.”

I am both grateful and truly humbled by the support of the Berry family.

Sadly, my opponent quickly showed his petulance.

Sheriff (J.J.) Jones’ campaign wasted no time in responding, releasing a statement just over an hour after Tyree’s release: “Two detectives were assigned full-time to the Johnia Berry case. They had no other duties for three years except to solve this case. I told Joan Berry it would be solved and it was. As I sympathize with the Berry family over the loss of their daughter, this is just another desperate attempt by Tyree to gain free media time.”

That’s pathetic J.J. Jones.

The voters have a clear choice this time.

Thank goodness.

And godspeed to the healing of the Berry family.


If you have to tell us …

August 3, 2008

 … that means you’re not.

My opponent keeps pointing out that he’s his own man. I don’t buy it.

(Though apparently a lot of contributors are willing to pay considerable sums to keep him in office for their benefit.


J.J. Jones hugs Tim Hutchison


Pair.jpg picture by photosrus_070

Those two photos don’t depict someone who is his own man. They show a man beholden to the former sheriff.

The same sheriff, Tim Hutchison, whom J.J. Jones had this to say about:

“A paranoid, selfish, power-crazed tyrant.”

So said J.J. Jones about Hutchison, his former boss, when Jones left the department in 1999. (Knoxville News-Sentinel, Aug. 26, 1999.)

Jump ahead to 2005 and Jones returns with the words, “I’m going back to work for a good man.” (Knoxville News-Sentinel, June 17, 2005.)

Confused? Don’t be.

That “good man” later helped to get Jones appointed sheriff in 2007 as they morphed into one man.

Jones authorized a change in Hutchison’s payroll status, so as to boost his pension by an additional $80,000 a year after Hutchison was finally tossed by term limits. The successor was hand-selected in a meeting that broke the law.

“Black Wednesday.” Jan. 31, 2007. The day Knox County’s voters were rendered powerless by the self-anointed powers that be hell-bent on holding onto that power.

It’s a tale of two sheriffs. And a nightmare for Knox County.

Then, we have the man who would be sheriff. That would be me, Randy Tyree.

Randy and Mary Pat Tyree

Randy and Mary Pat Tyree

And just so we’re clear on one thing: That is my first and only wife. We have four grown children and remain eternally devoted. Yes, I out-kicked my coverage. It’s a Southern tradition.

(This is a state where 2 + 2 = third and six.)

(Edit: That’s in keeping with the football theme – sorry for any confusion – and the fact it’s almost kickoff time! My “handlers” told me to crack jokes in my blog. That’s the best I could do. 🙂 )

I am native of this state. A graduate of Tennessee. Law enforcement experience at local, state and federal levels. A former Mayor and Marine veteran and community voice and advocate, husband and father, lawyer and leader.

I tried to save us from the nightmare in 2006. Despite being outspent 10-1 by Tim Hutchison, I lost by a 52-47 percent margin and put election night fright in the man who thought himself above the law.

I could have sought the sheriff’s appointment last year. But I saw the political shenanigans and withdrew from the tainted process.

I prefer to win it with the ballot. That is what the voters expect. That is what the voters deserve.

I have no ambitions to be a political czar. We’ve had enough of that for 16 years.

The power belongs to the people, not those who try desperately to hold onto it.

I will appear Sunday on “Tennessee This Week” at noon and sent the following press release to the media:

Randy Tyree, the Democratic candidate for Knox County sheriff, will appear Sunday on “Tennessee This Week” with Gene Patterson of WATE-Channel 6. The shows airs at noon Sunday, Aug. 3.

Tyree outlines his qualification for the position of sheriff and notes that his opponent, interim sheriff J.J. Jones, piggybacked onto the empire built by Tim Hutchison, the man responsible for ushering Jones into office on “Black Wednesday.”

In other news from the Tyree Campaign, Tyree heard Friday from Gary Hall, the director of the Merit System Council. Hall explained that a hearing likely could not be held on Tyree’s complaint about employee photos on Jones’ campaign website before the election this coming Friday.

“I certainly understand why that would be the case,” said Tyree, who officially filed his complaint July 24. “We are in the pipeline of the issues the council must address and will wait our turn for a hearing.”

On July 17, Tyree had asked Jones to remove the photos from his site. Tyree noted that Jones took the path of passing the buck to the council rather than addressing the matter himself.

“I think it speaks to the true nature of Jones – he will pass the buck and follow orders from elsewhere,” Tyree said. “Despite what his web site says, he is not his own man.”

Tyree said the proper thing to do would have been to take down the photos of classified employees who are not permitted by council bylaws to appear in political campaigns.

Tyree alleges that Jones has violated Knox County Ordinance No. O-90-9-111, as amended, which created and established a merit system for employees of the Knox County Sheriff’s Department and the Policies and Procedures of the Knox County Sheriff’s Merit System Council and has violated, caused to be violated or permitted the violation of Section 42-64 of the Knox County Code, as well as the Policies and Procedures of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office Merit System Council.

The website contains the images of some 14 employees who are protected under the Merit System and are not to appear on behalf of a political candidate while in uniform and/or on duty.

“The employees of the sheriff’s office should never be used in this manner willingly or unwillingly,” Tyree said. “It is the responsibility of the sheriff to ensure that that is not done.”

This issue has been covered by the local news media.

And, remember, this time YOU decide!


 P.S. We put out a lot more signs this week. Maybe these won’t be stolen. 🙂

Last day to vote early

August 2, 2008

Some 15,000 people have taken advantage of early voting and today, Saturday, Aug. 2, is the last day to vote early before Thursday’s Aug. 7 election.

The sites are here and the polls are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today.

Two extra sites are available for the stretch run – the main floor of the UT Center on Cumberland Avenue and the Powell Library on Emory Road.

It’s the last early shot to oust this group:

And a picture is worth 100,000 words in this case:

J.J. Jones hugs Tim Hutchison

J.J. Jones hugs Tim Hutchison

In this next photo, the pair celebrates “Black Wednesday” when J.J. Jones was handed the office by appointment via the handiwork of Hutchison.

Pair.jpg picture by photosrus_070

His own man? Yeah, we don’t think so either.

And, remember, this time YOU decide!


All politics are local

August 1, 2008

The title of this blog entry is one truism in politics – it’s all local.

The quote has been originally attributed to Tip O’Neill. He intended for members of Congress to remember that the issues of their hometowns are really what matters, even if you’re sitting in Washington.

The quote is oft repeated to remind politicians that, first and foremost, you need to answer to the people who put you in office.

And for Knox County officeholders that means being responsive to your constituents.

One West Knox County neighborhood off Northshore Drive was left well short of that standard this week.

The Lyons Crossing neighborhood was so upset that I heard from two of its residents by phone and later by email.

As a sheriff’s candidate, what I could do is listen and promise that, if elected, responsiveness to calls is a primary responsibility of the department.

Essentially trees downed power lines and left the roadway a mess on July 29.

The trouble begins with downed power lines

The trouble begins with downed power lines

Then, the traffic backup starts.
Residents and a delivery truck are stalled

Residents and a delivery truck are stalled

So, a neighbor has to become traffic patrol.
A needed gesture but not the safest solution for the neighborhood

A needed gesture but not the safest solution for the neighborhood

And the traffic kept getting worse.
The traffic snarl continues

The traffic snarl continues

A very fed-up neighbor decides to make her feelings known.
A living political endorsement

A living political endorsement

But at least the beer truck got through.

A narrow squeeze for truck and car
A narrow squeeze for truck and car
All jokes aside about the beer truck making it in, I can promise you firsthand that this neighborhood was upset.

And when they couldn’t reach the current sheriff, they reached his opponent. That’s a bad way to do business with the people.

Speaking of bad business practices, I keep getting reports from campaign volunteers that Tyree for Sheriff signs that they put out have been stolen by the next day.

A lawyer in Fountain City actually caught someone doing it. He claimed he needed to mow the area and even was toting around a lawn mower as a prop. But the sign had been placed with permission, and the “mower” holds a county office.

I could file a complaint but to who? My opponent? Ha!

So I’ll just ask nicely: Please stop stealing our signs. That’s not the way to conduct the county’s business either.

And, remember, this time YOU decide!


P.S. The page views today set a record for this fledgling blog.

Scroll about halfway down:

Thank you KnoxViews for the link. It drove a lot of traffic our way. 🙂


It’s Wednesday …

July 30, 2008

 … and that reminds us:

It’s also almost August, but if you visit my opponent’s web site, you might think it’s Christmas.

When my opponent has my head dancing across the top of his web site that means I have gotten into his head. That tactic has a flop sweat smell to it. Somebody is getting worried.

Let’s look at the banner of my website:

That’s me and my wife, Mary Pat Tyree, and our city’s skyline. (And I’ve heard the line that the party is running the wrong Tyree. Mary Pat just might agree with that so please don’t tell her.)

I think my opponent has, inadvertantly, summed up the difference in our campaigns. He is mired in the politics of the past. I have a vision for the future.

In keeping with the Christmas theme, there are no gifts attached to those who donate to my campaign, and I won’t use the office of sheriff to personally enrich myself.

I do not and will not have any ownership or financial interest in wrecker companies, food services or any other county-services provider. There will be no badges, cars and guns because you are a friend of the sheriff. No wonder I am portrayed as the Grinch on my opponent’s site – he knows I will take away the toys and non-competitive bids.

As R. Neal noted in his blog, it’s a slick site and “sounds like Jones is worried.”

My opponent had to dig and distort and flash images across the screen that look like some newspaper version of that first-generation computer game of Pong.

A $60 million budget belongs in the hands of someone who is responsible to the taxpayers – someone who was properly put in office.

Pair.jpg picture by photosrus_070

J.J. Jones and Tim Hutchison celebrate Black Wednesday.

It’s Wednesday. Never forget.

And, remember, this time YOU decide!


P.S. I’ve added my photo tag to the blog. This picture is a marked improvement over the driver’s license shot and was taken this week. So that should officially end the ridiculous notion that I’m too much of a relic for public office. 🙂

A heart-wrenching Sunday in our city

July 27, 2008

The news reverberated through Knoxville’s places of worship this morning and staggered everyone who heard.

A gunman entered the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church on Sunday and opened fire during a children’s play. One man who stepped in front of the gunman is confirmed dead and seven others were injured. The news came Sunday evening that a second victim had died.

The entire religious community of Knox County, from its churches to its synagogues to its temples, is stunned by what happened.

As of now, we know that a Powell man, identified by authorities as Jim D. Adkisson, 58, has been taken into custody. The why of what happened will be determined by local police and federal agents, in case the shooting was the result of a federal hate crime.

I learned of the shooting after leaving my own place of worship this morning, Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church, when my daughter called me.

The details have been developing throughout the afternoon and have been well chronicled by the local media, including the News Sentinel: 

There are employees of the paper who are members of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, and this story must be heartbreakingly difficult for the paper to report.

The three-minute response time by the Knoxvillle Police Department – and how quickly the gunman was in custody – is to be lauded. Also, the FBI has done an outstanding job in helping to investigate the case.

The Tyree family extends its deepest sympathy to all the victims and their families and the entire congregation of the church.

What started as a beautiful Sunday in summer was shattered by one gunman and shook the religious community in this city to its core.

We will learn of why later. For now we pray for those whose lives have been irrevocably changed by an act that defies belief and we rely on faith to sustain us.