SIMPSON COUNTY, Ky. – A man from Tennessee was shot and killed by a gunman at the Kentucky Welcome Center in Simpson County on Tuesday night. Authorities said the shooter then turned the gun on himself.
Around 9:25 p.m., Kentucky State Police said 39-year-old James Roame, of Hendersonville, Tennessee, shot and killed 40-year-old Jamie Plymel, of Spring Hill, Tennessee, at the rest area in Franklin along Interstate 65, just past the Tennessee state line.
Trooper Jonathan Biven said the shooting appears to have been random and there was no apparent connection between Plymel and Roame.
“We’ll be going through both vehicles-- both the shooter as well as the decedent. Gathering any information that we have, talking to the family, finding out what mindset of the shooter was,” said Biven.
Investigators said Roame was sitting on a bench before walking up to Plymel's vehicle and opening fire around 9:25 p.m. Witnesses told troopers Roame then turned the gun on himself.
Plymel was pronounced dead at Franklin Medical Center in Simpson County.
Roame was taken to Skyline Medical Center in Nashville, where he died from his injuries.
Plymel's family released a statement Wednesday afternoon. They said he left Franklin, Tennessee around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday to travel to Owensboro, Kentucky, for a regular Wednesday appointment with his work. He was talking with his wife, Stacy, for most of the drive.
After pulling into the rest area, Stacy said she heard someone come up to his car and tell him to turn off his lights. He told the person the lights were automatic and he would turn them off shortly. In the statement, Stacy said she heard noises and Jamie told her he had been shot. She asked him where he was, and immediately called police.
“He stated to her I've been shot,” brother-in-law Bob DePriest said about the conversation his sister had with Plymel.
Stacy, who was traveling to her family home in Murfreesboro, immediately headed toward Kentucky.
Plymel is survived by his wife, an 8-year-old son, and a large extended family.
“And his son, that was the center of his life. He wanted to do everything with him and actually wanted to be a good father,” Lamar Plymel, the victim’s father, explained.
“I will miss very much that he made my sister very happy,” DePriest added. “I’ll miss the remarkable sense of stability that he brought to a number of lives, people that he touched.”
He had been employed by Markem-Imaje as a senior field service representative for 10 years.
The investigation was ongoing.