3 employees shot at Tennessee Smile Direct Club facility; suspect killed by police

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Multiple people were shot at a business in a Nashville suburb after a person opened fire there early Tuesday morning, police said.

The shooting was reported at 5:58 a.m. at a Smile Direct Club location on Antioch Pike.

A male employee entered the building during a shift change and opened fire, Metro Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron said at a news conference. 

Metro Police investigate a shooting after an employee opened fire and shot three other employees at the Smile Direct Club warehouse Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.

Three employees were shot and transported to a local hospital. One was in critical condition.

After the shooting, police found a man armed with a gun at a nearby intersection.  The officers asked the man to drop the gun, Aaron said, but he pointed it at the officers. 

Officers shot the man, who died after he was taken to the hospital at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Aaron said. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is handling the investigation because it involves a shooting by police.

A Smile Direct employee uses her phone as Metro Police investigate a shooting after an employee opened fire and shot three other employees at the Smile Direct Club warehouse Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.

The man was a 22-year-old employee who began working for the company in June, a release from the department said. He had previously worked for Smile Direct Club between late 2019 and early 2020, police said. 

Fire department personnel took five people to area hospitals, spokesman Joseph Pleasant said. EMTs and paramedics from the department were the first on the scene, he said. 

One employee was shot in the chest, one in the abdomen and one in the leg. Another employee injured an ankle while running.

Metro Police investigate a shooting after an employee opened fire and shot three other employees at the Smile Direct Club warehouse Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.

Smile Direct Club, which produces teeth straightening products, has been headquartered in Nashville since 2016. On-site security personnel “contained” the incident, the company said in a statement, adding it was “saddened” by the shooting.

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 “The safety of our team members is a top priority for our company and we maintain strict security protocols. We are working with the local police as they investigate this matter,” the company said in a statement. 

Follow Natalie Neysa Alund on Twitter: @nataliealund.

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