Three Truck Stop Employees Stabbed to Death Before Police Kill Suspect
UPDATE @ 2:55 p.m. CST
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI) has released the names of the deceased suspect and victims in Tuesday morning’s knife attack at a Pilot in Knoxville, TN.
TBI identified the attacker as truck driver Idris Abdus-Salaam, 33, from Durham, NC.
The three deceased victims, all employees of the Pilot, are 57-year-old Joyce Whaley, 41-year-old Nettie Spencer, and 51-year-old Patricia Denise Nibbe.
The fourth victim, a guest of the travel center, remains in the hospital. Her condition is unknown at this time.
The story is developing. Stay tuned to Transportation Nation Network (TNN) for the latest information.
Read the original report below.
Knoxville, TN – A man armed with a knife killed three people and injured a fourth in an early morning assault at a truck stop in Tennessee on Tuesday.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI), the horrific incident occurred shortly before 7 a.m. at a Pilot Travel Center along Strawberry Plains Pike just off of Interstate 40.
Officers with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) arrived to the scene shortly after receiving the call for help.
TBI says upon arrival, officers discovered one person outside of the store suffering from stab wounds and quickly confronted a male suspected of carrying out the attack.
At a press conference on Tuesday morning following the incident, Leslie Earhart, a spokesperson for TBI, said officers instructed the suspect to drop his weapon.
Earhart indicated the man refused to comply.
“At some point during the encounter, one of the officers fired shots, striking the man. He was pronounced dead at the scene,” a TBI press release states.
Earhart confirmed three women were killed in the savage attack and a fourth female victim was transported to a nearby hospital where her condition is unknown at this time.
Each of the deceased victims have been confirmed as store employees, according to Pilot Companies CEO Jimmy Haslam.
The fourth victim was described as a “guest.”
Investigators have yet to reveal what precipitated the deadly attack.
The identities of the victims as well as the alleged suspect have not yet been released by authorities.
However, trucker Tony Justice indicates one of the victims was Denise Nibbe, who was a manager of the store.
In a social media post Justice wrote, “Denise was a member of the church I attend and the manager of the Pilot in Strawberry Plains, TN.”
Justice tells Transportation Nation Network (TNN) he received the news from his pastor.
Shortly following the incident, Haslam, who was photographed on-scene this morning, released the following statement:
Today is a difficult day for the Pilot Company family. We are devastated to confirm the loss of three team members and the injury of a guest after an act of violence at our Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, location this morning. It is with heavy hearts that we extend our deepest sympathy to the families and loved ones of the victims. We are providing support and counseling to the families and our team. We are working closely with local authorities. Please keep these families in your thoughts and prayers.
Authorities say forensic scientists are continuing to process the crime scene and TBI agents are interviewing all potential witnesses.
“This remains a very active and ongoing investigation,” Earhart said.
TNN will continue to update this story with the latest developments.