UPDATE: Family of Harrison man killed in murder/suicide shares s - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Family of Harrison man killed in murder/suicide shares statement with Channel 3

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Shawn Foster in a family photo. Shawn Foster in a family photo.
HARRISON, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: The family of Shawn Foster issued the following statement today:

Last Tuesday, March 27th, 2018, our family suffered a terrible tragedy and our world was changed forever.  Many people have heard gossip and spread incorrect information in regards to the events leading up to the death of our brother, Shawn Foster. On behalf of our mother and our family, we wanted to set the record straight and tell the whole story in honor of Shawn.

Shawn was a very giving, loving person, who lived with our mother and stepfather to help them in their daily struggles with health issues.  Our stepfather, Mel Scott, was a troubled man who suffered from PTSD after serving in the Vietnam War; he was also diagnosed with Agent Orange, which contributed to his need for cancer treatments, and the beginning stages of dementia. 

Mel was dedicated to his family and loved The Lord. He battled with a lot of struggles in his mind that truly left him unable to rationalize. He was also a broken man, mentally and spiritually especially after his own son was shot and killed in November of 1994. Mel never recovered from this loss and wanted to do what was right, but his mind would not allow him. 

These circumstances led him to believe that Shawn was stealing special family mementos and keepsakes from him. Shawn had never, at any time, taken anything from Mel. 

Over the past few months, Mel had deteriorated to a disturbed mental state and the accusations became more frequent. Shawn was doing what any son would do for his mother and trying to protect her and call 911. This man that cared for Shawn for over 25 years took his life after saying he was going to call 911. 

It was in this disturbed mental state that he shot Shawn, and then turned the gun on himself.

Shawn in no way deserved the way his life was taken.  He spent life enjoying his family, children, cracking jokes, entertaining, singing, and playing any instrument he could get his hands on.

Shawn was positive, insightful, really warm and authentic. Everyone that met him admired his enthusiasm and wanted to be more like him. He was a bright light and his good energy was infectious and soaked into you.  If we could all be a little more like him, this world would be a great place. Shawn was a remarkable human being, and deserves to have his life acknowledged and celebrated.

Shawn should be remembered this way, not the way the rumors have spread.  Our family has suffered this incredible shock, and would appreciate the memory of Shawn Pruitt Foster to be honored as it should be.

While there will always be the questions of why, it’s imperative to stress that if you or someone you know are suspecting any potential warnings for a domestic violence situation or mental health issues in your home, you need to seek help immediately. Do not hesitate.

To help with the family‘s needs during this time of loss, please consider making donations in honor of Shawn. Go to his memorial GoFundMe account at

Thank you,

Twylah Scott- mother

Lisa Smith - sister

Steve Hornsby -brother


 PREVIOUS STORY: A medical examiner’s report confirmed it was a murder-suicide that claimed the life of a Harrison man and his stepfather. 

The report reveals the new details the sheriff’s office has refused to share and outlines what happened at the home on Eldridge Road last Tuesday. 

According to the report, 71-year-old Melvin Scott chased his 35-year-old stepson, Shawn Foster, around a room with a handgun before allegedly shooting Foster in the back. Scott then turned the gun on himself. 

A total of 7 shots were fired. 

Two other unidentified people were in the house during the shooting. 

It’s not clear what led to the verbal altercation inside the home that property records show belonged to Scott, who died in a hospital the next day. 

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department issued a release confirming the names of the men involved and that they died. 

Channel 3 has asked for interviews and more details on the shooting. Our requests have been denied due to the department's ongoing investigation. 

When asked what is left to investigate before a public statement can be made, spokesperson Matt Lea said, “Sometimes investigations can be prolonged or delayed simply because investigators are not finished with their review of the facts/circumstances, etc. Investigations take time…”

It’s not clear who witnessed the shooting, or if any charges could be filed in connection with the case. 


PREVIOUS STORY: Both of the men shot in Harrison Tuesday have died.

35-year-old Shawn Pruitt Foster was pronounced deceased at an area hospital.

Channel 3 learned 71-year-old Melvin Lee Scott died from his injuries Wednesday evening.

The shooting remains under investigation. 


PREVIOUS STORY: The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting that sent two people to an area hospital Tuesday.

HCSO PIO Matt Lea says deputies were called to 12000 block of Eldridge Road for a report of a person shot at around 1:00 pm.

Deputies arrived to find two males with critical injuries. Both were transported, one by LifeForce, to a hospital.

Lea said preliminary reports show that a domestic situation occurred between the two individuals. A firearm entered the situation at some point.

"The HCSO wishes to advise the community near Eldridge Road the scene is secure and there is no threat to the public," Lea explained.

This is a developing story. Channel 3 will keep you updated as we learn more. 


PREVIOUS STORY: The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is responding to a reported shooting in Harrison.

The incident reportedly happened in the 12000 block of Eldridge Road, which is off Birchwood Pike.

Dispatch tells Channel 3 that one person is being given CPR.

We have a crew on the way to the scene.

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