DA Pinkston: No charges filed in East Ridge gas station shooting

Anthony Edmonds

A 33-year-old bystander will not face criminal charges for shooting and killing a man who wielded a meat cleaver during an attempted robbery at an East Ridge gas station robbery.

District Attorney General Neal Pinkston announced today that Charles Russell, 33, was justified when he shot and killed Anthony Edmonds, 53, on June 30.

"Edmonds had just performed a strong armed robbery with a butcher knife on a convenience store right before the shooting occurred," Pinkston wrote in an email Monday to East Ridge Police Chief J.R. Reed.

"Under the facts and applicable Tennessee law, I conclude that the shooting was justified and that no charges should be filed against Mr. Russell," he said.

A store clerk said Edmonds came into the Marathon gas station at 4011 Ringgold Road just before 2 a.m., according to a report from East Ridge Police.

Then he pulled a mask over his face, chased the clerk around the store, and pulled out a meat cleaver, demanding money from the cash register. After the clerk handed it over, Edmonds grabbed a rack of cigarettes and started to force her out of the store.

Meanwhile, Russell noticed the commotion as he stepped out of his vehicle, according to the report. He said Edmonds shouted that he had a gun and would kill the clerk - so he pulled his .40-caliber handgun out of his vehicle.

When he turned back around, the report says, Edmonds had moved close enough to strike him with the cigarette rack. Then Edmonds stepped back and "began reaching for something," the report says.

Thinking he was reaching for a gun, Russell shot the man.

At the time, East Ridge Police said Russell was licensed to carry a weapon. This is a developing story. Please check back later for more updates.