JC man dies of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound during traffic stop

Published 6:58 pm Sunday, October 21, 2018

On Thursday, Oct. 18, at about 9 p.m., the Elizabethton Police Department was dispatched to provide backup and assist Johnson City Police Department units at the Kenjo Market, 1518 Milligan Highway, on a traffic stop involving a subject with a weapon. While responding, EPD officers were advised that the JCPD officer reported shots from the vehicle that was stopped and believed a subject in the vehicle shot himself. Elizabethton Police arrived to find a subject in the vehicle dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Elizabethton officers found that the Johnson City Police officer was acting on a tip looking for a wanted person, Christopher Antone, in a vehicle that was seen in the area. The officer spotted a vehicle matching the description parked at the Kenjo Market in a parking space. As the officer entered the parking lot to check the vehicle and the vehicle started to back from the parking space, the officer then turned on the police lights and siren signaling for the vehicle to stop. As both vehicles came to a stop, the officer ordered the occupants to remain in the vehicle to wait for backup. Two shots were then fired from the interior of the stopped vehicle.  Officers then found the subject in the back seat of the vehicle with wounds to the head. There were two other occupants in the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle advised officers Antone said he was having suicidal thoughts earlier in the day and when the police pulled in behind the vehicle the driver heard two shots and said a “firecracker smell” was inside the vehicle. The driver did not know he was armed. The driver also stated that before the shots Antone asked the driver to “tell my mother I love her.”

Officers also spoke to another person who was in the vehicle with Antone and the driver. That subject advised Antone said, “Tell my mother I love her,” and heard a shot and “smelled gunsmoke.”

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The deceased subject was identified as Christopher J. Antone, 29, of Johnson City. It was found that Atone was wanted on charges of one count of aggravated robbery, three counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, three counts of aggravated assault, one count of especially aggravated burglary, and theft under $1,000.

The investigation is incomplete pending a final autopsy report.