Blountville woman shot by backseat passenger, police say

Rain Smith • Jul 23, 2019 at 6:30 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — A convicted felon shot a woman in the back Tuesday morning while they traveled in a vehicle on Memorial Boulevard, according to police.

Details about the incident are still being gathered, as the victim was reportedly not very cooperative in answering police questions. Meanwhile, Matthew Paul Schneider, 36, Keeland Drive, Johnson City, is jailed on charges of reckless aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a weapon.

According to records at the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, at about 2 a.m. a deputy was called to Indian Path Hospital. There he spoke with the victim, a 26-year-old Blountville resident, and another female who had driven her to receive treatment.

The driver reportedly said she had spotted Schneider and the woman walking along Bridwell Heights Road. Though she did not know them, according to her statements in a police report, she “wanted to help them home” and stopped to pick them up.

As the driver turned onto Memorial Boulevard, a gun allegedly fired from Schneider’s position in the back seat. The bullet reportedly struck the back of the female passenger in the front seat. Police examination of the vehicle later revealed bullet entry and exit holes in the passenger seat, along with blood.

Schneider is alleged to have then bailed from the car and run away, while the driver transported the victim to Indian Path. She was later transferred to Holston Valley Medical Center for further treatment and is in stable condition.

The victim told police that she knew Schneider only by his first name and that the pair had been at a friend’s apartment on Memorial Boulevard. She wouldn’t specify the location, according to police records, and claimed to have left that residence with both Schneider and the driver of the vehicle.

Through investigation that included a photo lineup, detectives determined Schneider was their suspect. Warrants were obtained, and he was located and arrested later Tuesday morning.

Schneider’s previous convictions include drug possession and felony reckless endangerment with a vehicle. As of Tuesday afternoon, he remained held in the Sullivan County jail.

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