The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says three women were fatally stabbed and one was wounded at a Pilot Travel Center on Strawberry Plains Pike in Knox County. Responding deputies confronted and fatally shot the suspect, 33-year-old Idris Abdus-Salaam. He was ordered several times to drop the weapon which he did not comply. Salaam was a truck driver from Durham, North Carolina.
Officers identified the three women killed, all employees of the Pilot Travel Center, as 57-year-old Joyce Whaley, 51-year-old Patricia Denise Nibbe, and 41-year-old Nettie R. Spencer. The fourth victim who was wounded has still not been identified. She was a customer and is still in the hospital.
A motive for the stabbing was not initially released.
Pilot CEO Jimmy Haslam 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.”
TBI said this is still an active and ongoing investigation. The officers involved in the shooting have not been identified.