Jackie G. Warpoole Jr. (Photo courtesy of Facebook)
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Detectives with the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office are following up with several leads they have received concerning the mysterious shooting death of a Smyrna man who was found this weekend near the Almaville Road exit.
“We are not ruling anything out at this time,” said Maj. Bill Sharp, a detective with the Sheriff’s Office who is investigating the death of Smyrna resident Jackie G. Warpoole Jr.
Warpoole, 47, was found shot to death just after 6:30 a.m. Sunday inside his silver Dodge Magnum on Interstate 24 near Smyrna by a motorist who had stopped to check on the parked car, which was situated on the shoulder of the road, according to authorities.
“He was found deceased in his car,” Sheriff Robert Arnold said, adding Warpoole was found slumped over the steering wheel in his car.
What detectives have not been able to determine is why someone would want to kill Warpoole, who friends have described as a hard-working family man.
“We do not have a suspect or a motive at this time,” Arnold said.
Warpoole, who is survived by his wife and son, was a lifelong resident of Rutherford County. His death comes just 10 days before Christmas.
“We give our sympathy to Mr. Warpoole’s family who must deal with his death, especially this close to Christmas,” Arnold said.
Sheriff’s Office officials held a press conference Sunday evening in light of some media reports that interstate traffic was backed up for nearly eight hours due to a traffic accident.
When in reality, Rutherford County deputies and officials with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, as well as the Tennessee Department of Transportation, closed two lanes of traffic to investigate the homicide, he said.
“It wasn’t a crash, as the media initially reported,” Arnold said, adding detectives were at the scene until after 1 p.m. collecting evidence for the investigation.
Based on the evidence collected there, Arnold said authorities believe Warpoole was traveling westbound on I-24 when he “pulled over and stopped” for some reason.
“There was no one else in the car,” he said. “I can’t go into any further details at this time, but, at this point, there is no reason to think (the gunshot wound) was self inflicted.”
Authorities do not why Warpoole stopped on the shoulder of the road, and they are trying to piece together the last few days of his life, including information regarding his whereabouts in the hours leading up to his death.
They are also trying to locate the last people Warpoole spoke with early Sunday.
The car has since been taken to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for processing in Nashville, while Warpoole’s body has been taken to the state Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.
Authorities are still urging anyone with information about the case to call Detective Jamin Humphress, who works for the Sheriff’s Office, at 615-904-3054 and leave a message.