Founder Of News Site Covering Tennessee Gun Protests Says Shots Fired At His Home

Three Democrats participated in one of those gun protests, which took place in the state House. Now state Republican leadership is moving to expel them.
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 03: Republican state Rep. William Lamberth enters the house chamber ahead of session as protesters chant demanding action for gun reform laws in the state at the Tennessee State Capitol on April... NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 03: Republican state Rep. William Lamberth enters the house chamber ahead of session as protesters chant demanding action for gun reform laws in the state at the Tennessee State Capitol on April 3, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. A 28-year-old former student of the private Covenant School in Nashville, wielding a handgun and two AR-style weapons, shot and killed three 9-year-old students and three adults before being killed by responding police officers on March 27. (Photo by Seth Herald/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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Justin Kanew, the founder of “The Tennessee Holler” — a progressive news site— says his home was shot at on Saturday night just hours after he posted footage of his coverage of a protest against lax gun laws in the state. Some Democrats in the state legislature participated in similar protests Thursday and state Republican leadership is moving to expel them today. 

Kanew and his family — who were in the house during the shooting — were not injured, he said.

“On Saturday night, someone targeted our home by shooting several bullets into our house while my family was sleeping,” Kanew said in a Wednesday statement. “This violence has no place in civilized society and we are thankful no one was physically hurt. The authorities have not completed their investigation and right now we do not know for sure the reason for this attack. We urge the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office to continue to investigate this crime and help shed light on Saturday’s unfortunate events and bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice. In the meantime, our family remains focused on keeping our children healthy and safe.”

The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office has not confirmed that Kanew’s home was the target of the shooting, but they told TPM the department was investigating a shooting into a residence as aggravated assault. Authorities believe the shooting occurred between 10:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. CT Saturday. 

“The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a weekend shooting in the Falls Grove neighborhood of College Grove, TN. WCSO Deputies were called to a home after it was discovered that shots were fired into the residence,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement to TPM. “The WCSO is investigating this aggravated assault with the assistance of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. It’s believed the shooting occurred on Saturday, April 1, 2023 between 10:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.”

Kanew’s news site has been closely covering the gun control protests taking place in Tennessee in recent days, specifically in the state House, in response to the Covenant school shooting that killed six people — three children and three school personnel — last week.

Three Democratic lawmakers participated in the protest that broke out at the state House last week and state House Republicans are holding a vote today to expel the members over the matter. Republican state House Speaker Cameron Sexton even compared the Democrats’ actions to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

“Two of the members — Representative Jones and Representative Johnson — have been very vocal about Jan. 6 and Washington, D.C., about what that was,” Sexton said. “What they did today was equivalent, at least equivalent, maybe worse depending on how you look at it, to doing an insurrection in the State Capitol.”

In reality, the three Democrats – Reps. Gloria Johnson, Justin Pearson and Justin Jones – cheered on the protestors, which were mostly children and parents holding signs and chanting, from the front of the House chamber with a bullhorn.

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