The Tennessee National Guard recruiter accused of shooting three soldiers at an armory north of Memphis was sent there to be relieved, demoted and possibly kicked out of the Guard for misconduct, authorities said.
After Sgt. 1st Class Amos Patton got the news Oct. 24, he was sent to his car to return government equipment, but he came back with a “fanny pack, from which he allegedly pulled a gun, said the complaint, written by FBI Special Agent Matthew Ross.
A guardsman yelled “gun,” and a senior noncommissioned officer tried to subdue Patton. He allegedly fired and struck two supervisors, identified by the Guard as Maj. William J. Crawford and Sgt. Maj. Ricky R. McKenzie, and a third soldier who was reportedly grazed.
The same senior NCO chased Patton as he ran from the building and held him until local police arrived to arrest him and recover the handgun.
The two victims — one hit in the leg and the other in the foot — have since been treated and released from local hospitals, according to reports.
Patton was charged with assaults within the maritime and territorial jurisdiction in the United States and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a federal crime of violence.
Patton’s attorney, Federal Public Defender Doris Randle-Holt, declined to comment on the case.
Patton’s bail is due to be set at a hearing Wednesday in Memphis federal court.
The armory, which houses a recruitment office, sits across the street from the Naval Support Activity Mid-South base on land that used to be part of a larger military installation. Navy officials ordered a lockdown there during the tense minutes after the mid-afternoon shooting, lifting it after word came that the gunman was in custody.