Veteran killed in Hixson bar fight was also involved in 2011 boating death

Cropped photo of Shawn Russell, who was stabbed to death during a bar fight in Hixson.
photo Shawn Russell succumbed to his stabbing injuries after a fight at Rumors Bar & Grille.

UPDATED: A 36-year-old army veteran was stabbed to death during a bar fight in Hixson early today, according to police.

Shawn Russell was killed at the Rumors Bar on Hixson Pike just after 1 a.m.

Police are looking for two men who were involved in the stabbing. Both men were last seen leaving the bar at 3884 Hixson Pike in a black SUV, according to police.

The two men are believed to live in the Hamilton County area. Investigators have identified the men but declined to release their names publicly today.

Russell served with the U.S. Army Reserve, the regular Army and the Tennessee Army National Guard, according to an Army spokeswoman. He last served in 2008 and was a private.

He was deployed to Kuwait and Iraq for three months in 2003, and was awarded a National Defense Service Medal and an Army Service Ribbon, according to an Army spokeswoman.

But since he last served, Russell has been in trouble in Hamilton County.

On June 14, 2011, Russell was operating a sailboat on Chickamauga Lake near the dam and Gold Point Marina. Three other people were onboard, including 37-year-old Jimmy Hess. Hess and Russell both fell overboard, and Hess drowned.

Investigators said at the time they believe the two men were fighting when they went overboard.

Russell was later arrested and charged with boating under the influence and failure to render aid involving a death, although the medical examiner ruled Hess' death an accident, in part because he did not have any signs of trauma on his body.

Investigators took a blood sample from Russell which showed a reading of 0.19 percent alcohol in his system -- more than twice the legal limit, which is 0.08 in Tennessee.

Russell pleaded guilty to boating under the influence in 2014 and the failure to render aid charge was dropped, court records show. He was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days of probation.

Scruggs said police have no evidence that the 2011 incident is related to Russell's death.

Police are interviewing witnesses and following leads in his death, and ask that anyone with information regarding this crime call 423-698-2525.