Community mourns hunters killed at Reelfoot Lake, person of interest still at large
UPDATE (4:30 p.m. 1/26/21): The TBI has announced that David Vowell is now wanted on two counts of first-degree murder.
OBION COUNTY, Tenn. — Northwest Tennessee is mourning the lives of Chance Black and Zachary Grooms.
“It’s been tough to process. It’s brought a lot of hurt and confusion that we’re all learning to navigate,” said Seth Dortch, marketing manager for Final Flight Outfitters, Inc.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says they were killed Monday morning at Reelfoot Lake.
A friend says 25-year-old Zachary Grooms just graduated from Bethel University, with aspirations to become a police officer.
26-year-old Chance Black was also aspiring to join law enforcement as a state trooper. He worked at Final Flight Outfitters in Union City.
“They were very well respected, very well admired from their peers,” Dortch said. “Chance worked for us full-time for Final Flight Outfitters, and what an honor it was for us to have him on our team.”
Reelfoot Lake is a well-known hunting area, and both Grooms and Black were sportsmen.
“There’s a process there to take it all in, to mourn, to help build each other up, to strengthen each other, and for us as outdoorsmen, we have a lot to learn from it,” Dortch said.
Law enforcement was still on the scene Tuesday morning.
Dortch says now, the hunting community and northwest Tennessee are relying on their faith to get through this tragedy.
“You know, we press in to the promises, Psalm 46:1, God is our refuge and our strength and our ever-present help. Our hope and peace is in Jesus. And we hope to honor him throughout all of this,” Dortch said.
The TBI is still looking for 70-year-old David Vowell of Martin. They say to consider him armed and dangerous, and if you see him, call 1-800-TBI-FIND.
The TBI has still not released a cause of death or motive in the homicide investigation.