Tennessee man mows down pregnant woman, her 2-year-old son because 'a voice told him they were meth addicts'
A Tennessee man is facing multiple charges of first-degree murder after he "intentionally" swerved his vehicle into unsuspecting pedestrians, killing a pregnant woman and her young son, and injuring another two.
33-year-old William David Phillips, of Jefferson City, was arrested after police officers responded to reports of a motor vehicle crash in the area of West Main St. and Russell Ave. at around 3:30 pm on Monday, June 17, according to a press release by the Jefferson City Police Department.
Before eventually crashing his Chevy Impala at an ornamental fish store in the city, Phillips had driven maniacally and mowed down three others in what police described as "an intentional act of violence toward randomly chosen pedestrians."
The 33-year-old was initially traveling west on East Main St., where he swerved and struck 61-year-old Tillman Gunter, before traveling less than a mile and intentionally plowing into 30-year-old Sierra Wilson Cahoon and her two-year-old son Nolan Cahoon at the intersection between Russell Ave. and West Main St.
While Gunter was transported to a hospital with non-threatening injuries, both Cahoon and her son were declared dead at the scene of the accident.
It later emerged that the 30-year-old mother was pregnant with another child as well.
Phillips then went on to crash his car into a fish store, Sustainable Aquatics, injuring Katie McCord, one of the employees working inside. She was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Speaking to NBC News, McCord, who suffered cuts to her hands and legs, said she suddenly felt water rush over her and saw that a car was inside the building. "Maybe it hasn't really registered yet that that could've killed me," she said.
John Carberry, the owner of the store, described the horrific scene. "He penetrated the building after taking out a guy-wire on a telephone pole, sending a stop sign 300 feet through the air across the top of the building into one of the employees' cars here," he revealed.
"He went through a block wall and went through a fish system that had 20 tons of water in it, and came to rest with his bumper about 10 feet past the entry point," he added.
Phillips told detectives that he began his spree because "a voice told him he needed to go kill meth addicts so he began driving very fast" and that he drove into Cahoon and her child after "the voice told him that the baby stroller had meth in it."
The 33-year-old was initially charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder.
However, officers later upgraded the attempted first-degree murder charge to first-degree murder proper in connection to the death of Cahoon's unborn son.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for the Cahoon family. It has raised $52,288 of a possible $60,000 goal in three days at the time of writing.