SmileDirectClub Shooting Latest Updates: 3 Injured at Nashville Store, Alleged Gunman Killed

Live Updates

A suspected gunman at a SmileDirectClub facility near Nashville, Tennessee, shot three people Tuesday morning.

Police identified the three SmileDirectEmployees who were shot as security guard Johnny Hardin, security guard Carlton Watson and manager Thomas Abbott.

Hardin, 46, is currently in critical condition, while Watson, 66, is stable. Abbott has already been treated and released from the medical center, according to a tweet from the Metro Nashville Police Department.

The shooting occurred around 6 a.m. at the facility in Antioch, which is southeast of Nashville, MNPD spokesperson Don Aaron said during a new conference.

The alleged shooter left the facility after opening fire, and police tracked him down at the intersection of Antioch Pike and Franklin Limestone Rd., Aaron said. They ordered the suspected gunman to put down his weapon, a semiautomatic pistol with an extended magazine, but the officers shot him when he aimed the firearm at them.

Officers rendered medical aid to the man at the intersection and transported him to a medical facility, where he died from his injuries, according to Aaron. Police haven't yet confirmed the man's name, but said that he was 22-years-old and an employee of the SmileDirectClub facility since June.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced that it would be stepping in to investigate the incident because it involved an officer shooting.

SmileDirectClub released a statement on Twitter after the shooting saying the company was "saddened" and working with authorities in their investigation.

"The safety of our team members is a top priority for our company and we maintain strict security protocols and a no weapons policy at all of our facilities," the statement said.

The live updates for this event have ended.

Police Investigating Antioch Shooting
The Metro Nashville Police Department is investigating a shooting that took place Tuesday morning at a SmileDirectClub facility in Antioch, which is southeast of Nashville, Tennessee. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Police Identify Three Employees Shot at SmileDirectClub Facility

Police identified the three SmileDirectEmployees shot Tuesday morning as security guard Johnny Hardin, security guard Carlton Watson and manager Thomas Abbott.

Hardin, 46, is currently in critical condition, while Watson, 66, is stable. Abbott has already been treated and released from the medical center, according to a tweet from the Metro Nashville Police Department.

Victim update from this morning's active shooter call at Smile Direct Club's manufacturing facility: security guard Johnny Hardin, 46, is in critical condition; security guard Carlton Watson, 66, is in stable condition; manager Thomas Abbott, 54, has been treated & released. pic.twitter.com/GqsqDipoVx

— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) August 3, 2021

SmileDirectClub Employee 'Grateful' He Arrived Late for Tuesday Morning Shift

Lomoro Soroba, an employee of the SmileDirectClub facility in Antioch, told the Nashville Tennessean in an interview that he was "grateful" that he arrived late for his 6 a.m. shift.

Upon arriving, he found police cars and other employees gathered outside the building who told him about the shooting. Soroba has worked at the plant for two years, and Tuesday was the first day he did not arrive on time, he said.

Three Injured Employees Were Shot in the Chest, Abdomen, Leg

Metro Nashville Police Department spokesperson Don Aaron said that the three SmileDirectClub employees who were shot were hit in the abdomen, chest and leg, respectively.

One of the victims is in critical condition, Aaron said, but did not specify which one. Another employee, a female, injured her ankle while running away from the shooting.

"Obviously a very trying morning for the employees here to try and make sense of what happened, as well as our police officers. When you see active shootings calls around the country, you always hope and pray that those will not happen here. Well, one happened here this morning," Aaron said during a news conference.

Police to Release Body Camera Footage Later Tuesday

Authorities are expected to release body camera footage later on Tuesday of the police's shooting of the suspected gunman, Fox 17 reported.

Metro Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron said during a news conference that officers found the gunman at an intersection outside the SmileDirectClub facility and shot him when he aimed his gun at them.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced that it would be stepping in to investigate the incident because it involved an officer shooting.

Suspected SmileDirectClub Gunman Asked Employees 'Why Are You Running?,' Witness Says

The suspected SmileDirectClub gunman asked employees "why are you running?" and started opening fire, one shooting witness told WKRN.

The witness said the man, who she didn't recognize, shot out the front glass of the building and shot a security guard, though authorities have not yet confirmed where the three injured employees worked in the building.

SmileDirectClub Releases Statement After Antioch Shooting

SmileDirectClub released a statement on Twitter saying the company was "saddened" after a gunman opened fire inside an Antioch facility Tuesday morning.

The company affirmed that security personnel quickly contained the situation and they were working with authorities in their investigation.

"The safety of our team members is a top priority for our company and we maintain strict security protocols and a no weapons policy at all of our facilities," the statement said.

SmileDirectClub is saddened at the shooting that took place at its manufacturing facilities this morning. The incident was contained quickly by security personnel on site.

— SmileDirectClub (@smiledirectclub) August 3, 2021

Police Confirm Suspected Gunman Was Employee of SmileDirectClub Facility

The Metro Nashville Police Department confirmed that the now deceased gunman was a 22-year old employee of the SmileDirectClub where he opened fire.

He began working at the facility in June, and was also employed there for a short stint between late 2019 and early 2020, MNPD said in a tweet. It is believed that he acted alone.

UPDATE: The active shooter is a 22-year-old employee who started working at Smile Direct Club in June. He also worked there from late 2019 to early 2020. He was shot by the MNPD at the intersection of Antioch Pk & Franklin Limestone Rd and has died at Vanderbilt...

— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) August 3, 2021

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to Investigate SmileDirectClub Shooting

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced that it would be stepping in to investigate the SmileDirectClub shooting that occurred Tuesday morning.

An official from the Metro Nashville Police Department said that because the suspected gunman, who is now deceased, was shot by one of the department's officers, the case warranted an outside investigation from the state agency.

The alleged shooter left the facility after opening fire, and police tracked him down at the intersection of Antioch Pike and Franklin Limestone Rd., an official said. They ordered the suspected gunman to put down his weapon, a semiautomatic pistol with an extended magazine, but he was shot when he aimed the firearm at the officers.

Officers rendered medical aid to the man at the intersection and transported him to a medical facility, where he died from his injuries, according to the official.

DEVELOPING: TBI special agents and forensic scientists are working to independently investigate this morning's shooting incident at a Smile Direct Club facility on Antioch Pike.

Our team will gather all relevant evidence, interviews, and details.

We'll provide a statement soon. pic.twitter.com/FLDOQvbxTn

— Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (@TBInvestigation) August 3, 2021

Police Believe Suspected Gunman Worked at SmileDirectClub Facility for Short Time

The suspected gunman who opened fire at a SmileDirectClub facility near Nashville Tuesday morning is believed to have worked there for a short period of time, according to officials from the Metro Nashville Police Department.

Authorities said that more research needs to be done to determine a motive. The suspect's name and those he shot have not been released publicly.