graphic assaultDo you know your neighbors? For one South Knox resident, the lack of this distinction caused serious injury to the victim as he was stabbed and bashed with a hammer by an acquaintance at his apartment complex the morning of April 14.

According to Knoxville Police Department Sargent Jason Keck, at 11:23 a.m. that morning officers responded to a stabbing at Spanish Trace Apartments, located at 2300 Davenport Rd.

Upon arrival, officers found a male who had apparently been struck in the head with a hammer and stabbed with a knife.

The victim, Billy Swann, was reportedly in serious condition and transported to UT Medical Center for his injuries.

Upon initial investigation, officers took one suspect into custody and they questioned at least one more.

Following leaving the scene by ambulance, Swann was interviewed by the KPD officers.

During the interview, Swann stated he was attacked by an acquaintance at the apartment complex. According to Swann’s account he gave officers, the suspect entered Swann’s apartment uninvited. Swann said he and the suspect calmly spoke for a brief period of time before the incident began.

Eventually, Swann turned his back to the suspect for a moment. According to Swann, the suspect then struck him in the back of the head several times.

Swann said the suspect then pushed him into a wall of canned goods and got on his back as Swann was on the ground.

Swann advised that the suspect continued hitting him with a hammer as he struggled to defend himself. He advised that the hammer’s handle got slippery with blood and he was able to wrestle it away. Swann then advised officers that the suspect pulled a small knife from his pocket and tried to cut his throat.

Swann continued to struggle as a dialogue transpired.

“Why are you doing this?”

“I gotta kill you!”

Swann advised that the suspect continued stabbing him.

Swann then told police he was able to get up and run toward the front door when the suspect grabbed him by the belt and took him down to the ground again. Swann advised that when he was partially in the doorway he started screaming for help.

Swann said that a worker at the complex came to the door and yelled at the suspect to stop the attack.

Police have determined that Swann’s injuries do not appear to be life threatening.

The suspect was later identified as Fred Thomas, 74. Thomas was charged with one count of first degree murder. He is currently being held on a $50,000 bond.

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