1 shot dead; suspect is held

A 16-hour manhunt ended Tuesday, April 24, with the capture of a suspect in the shooting death of a 19-year-old that occurred just outside of Farragut Monday night.

Mekhi L. Luster of Knoxville was fatally shot around 8 p.m., Monday, April 23, and found in a backyard along Amber Glades Lane, located just off Boyd Station Road, according to Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

His alleged killer, Isaiah T. Styles, 18, was apprehended Tuesday around noon.

Officers described the incident that led to the shooting as a failed “low level marijuana transaction” during a KCSO press conference Tuesday afternoon.

According to witnesses, an unidentified 13-year-old and Luster were driven to the area by an unidentified juvenile female to meet up with Styles and Sovereign Matthews, 18, who lived along Clear Ridge Road, not far from Amber Glades Lane.

“Four individuals met to walk from Clear Ridge to Amber Glades, get into a car that is parked, and some kind of a problem occurs near the backyard of the Amber Glades address,” said KCSO Maj. Mike Maclean during the press conference.

Luster sustained at least one gunshot wound, and the 13-year-old ran from door-to-door, asking to call 9-1-1, Maclean said. By that time, both Styles and Matthews had left the scene.

Luster was unconscious when emergency personnel arrived, and was transported to U.T. Medical Center. It was not clear if he died at the scene, or en route.

At that point, both Knox County and Loudon County officers began working together to apprehend the subject by establishing a parameter in both counties.

Not counting the unidentified female, Maclean said authorities believed there were two witnesses, one suspect and one victim.

He also said there was possible gang involvement by two of the individuals; and, when questioned, said the amount of marijuana in question likely had a street value of less than $100.

Styles was tracked down in the Farmington Subdivision off Ebenezer Road. He was discovered on Penwood Drive, but fled on foot before being taken down by a K-9 police dog.

Transported to an area hospital due to injuries sustained from the dog bite, Styles had not yet been charged at the time of the press conference. But Maclean indicated the charge likely would be felony murder.

Luster was a former Fulton High School student who had been a classmate of heroic Zaevion Dobson, who was shot and killed trying to protect his classmates from gang-related gunfire. Luster was currently a student at Paul Kelley Volunteer Academy, confirmed Carly Harrington, director of public affairs for Knox County Schools.

Syles’ Facebook page indicated he was once a Bearden High School student, but Harrington only confirmed he is a former Knox County School student who had withdrawn in January 2016.