Dickson County landlord arrested after tenant shot


Authorities in Dickson County say a shooting Wednesday night started as a dispute between a landlord and a tenant.

Dickson County Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe tells Channel 4 News that dispatchers received the first call at 9:09 p.m.

A family member of the suspect says he heard the gunshots and tried to help.

"I heard arguing in the basement, so I got up and went to smoke a cigarette," John Clark said.

Clark says he was outside on the porch smoking a cigarette when he heard the gunshots.

"I heard a couple pops," he said. "I went around to the basement, and Michael was laying on the ground bleeding."

The man who was shot, Warren Michael Garris, 52, was transported via LifeFlight to Vanderbilt University Medical Center with two bullets to the stomach. Garris had been leasing basement space from John Clark's brother, David Allen Clark, 64, who has now been charged with second-degree attempted murder in the shooting.

"I asked my brother what happened, and he said, 'he was going for a knife and I wasn't going to get cut so I shot him,'" John Clark said.

But, Dickson County sheriff's officials say there wasn't any evidence to show David Clark was acting in self defense.

They say Garris had called 911 Wednesday night, saying he was fighting with his landlord. When paramedics showed up, Garris was found shot.

But, John Clark says sheriff's officials have it all wrong.

"My brother tried to help him and give him a place in the basement," he said.

John Clark says this whole situation started at their church, where he says his brother met Garris and found out he needed a place to live.

John Clark says his brother David lost his wife more than a year ago and offered Garris the basement, because he had the space and thought Garris would be homeless without it.

"He will do whatever he can to help anyone, even a great sacrifice. He's always been this way, and this time it didn't turn out so good," John Clark said.

He added that his brother became afraid of his tenant after about five months, and he says when his brother tried to evict Garris, it caused the fight that ended so violently.

Dickson County sheriff's officials say they haven't been able to get a statement from the Garris, because he is still recovering in an area hospital. At last check, the man is in critical but stable condition.

The landlord accused of shooting him did not give police a statement when he was arrested. Sheriff's officials are still investigating.

David Clark is being held on $75,000 bond.

Copyright 2012 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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