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Manchester Police Department responding to call involving a gunshot victim call search the areas near Fred Deadman Park. Later the incident, believed to be accidental, is also thought to have happened in the county.    

The one thing that officers knew for sure shortly after Devon Morgan Kerns, 21, of Manchester limped into Unity Medical Center on Monday, Feb. 1 with a gunshot wound to his foot was that his story didn’t quite add up.

First to respond to the call was Manchester Police, who then handed the case over to Coffee County Sheriff investigators after eventually learning that the shooting allegedly occurred in the county.

Now Coffee County Sheriff’s Department is attempting to locate Kerns, who may face charges for giving a false report.

According to the incident report made by the county, the sheriff’s office received a call from the Manchester Police Department on Feb. 1 advising that MPD officers were out with a gunshot victim at Unity Medical Center.

“The victim (Devon Kerns) had given the Investigators conflicting stories of how he was shot,” according to the report.

The first story is that Kerns and another individual “went to rob some drug dealers and he was shot in the process,” according to the report.

After talking with Kerns for several hours, Kerns told police the incident had actually happened in the county, and the sheriff’s department was notified.

Kerns allegedly then told the Coffee County Investigator that he and another individual were out by One Stop Market, attempting to rob a drug dealer, and that the other individual “ran out of the residence, with drugs and a gun, and the drug dealer came out shooting.”

Kerns told investigators he was shot in the altercation.

But the investigator wasn’t buying Kerns’ story, so he waited to see who picked up the victim upon release.

Two vehicles came to pick up Kerns, one a silver Hyundai, occupied by a male and female, and another, a small red car occupied by a single male (all subjects’ names withheld). The driver of the red car exchanged words with those in the silver car, then pulled up to the ER door to get Kerns.

The investigator approached the driver who said he was on probation out of Cannon County for drugs.  

“He kept putting his hands in his pockets. I advised him not to do that, and he consented to a pat down. I observed a bulge in his right front watch pocket, and when I touched it, I asked how much meth he had in his pocket. The man bucked on me at that time, I grabbed his right arm, and placed him on the car. A search of his pocket revealed three bags of methamphetamine, approximately 2 grams,” the reports said.

When the occupant of the silver car was questioned she shared a different story on how Kerns was shot.

According to the report, she told the investigator “that Devon had come to their residence about two days ago, and that her mother (name withheld) allowed Devon to stay there due to feeling sorry for him.”

Devon, she claimed, was snorting meth and was carrying a gun around in his pocket.

The gun, she said, was malfunctioning. The safety was completely gone.

Kerns was shot, she told investigators, when he had dropped the gun, and it discharged, hitting Kerns in his right foot.

“(She) gave me the shoe that Devon had left in the residence. (She) also showed me where Devon hid the gun under the shed out front,” the investigator said.

“At this time we have attempted to locate Devon for further investigation with no success,” the investigator said. “Charges are pending for filing a false report, which will be presented to the grand jury for indictment,” the report said.


John has been with the Manchester Times since May 2011. He covers Lifestyles in addition to handling education reporting and general news assignments.John has won Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photo and placed in numerous other categories. John is a 1994 graduate of Tullahoma High School, a graduate of Motlow State Community College and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Middle Tennessee State University. He lives in Tullahoma, and enjoys the outdoors with his wife, Mitsy, and his 17-month-old, Sean.