Feral Black Male Michael Bunch
Black Male Michael Bunch Shoots Woman at Kingsport Waffle House
By Lewis Loflin
Also see Waffle House War Zones
30-year-old Kristen Smith of Bristol, Tennessee was at the Stone Drive Waffle House in Kingsport, Tennessee a fateful Sunday morning at about 4 AM. It was New Years morning.
A feral black male named Michael Bunche enters the Waffle House sometime later. He was in no mood to celebrate anything and there was no known connection between Kristen and Bunche.
Bunch arrived alone, she with a unidentified friend. This would be one New Year she would never forget.
According to the Kingsport Department, Bunche started some argument with three others he was sitting with at another table. He pulls out a stolen .40-caliber handgun, stands up, and starts waving the weapon. This forced employees to call the police.
As an irrational Bunche was exiting the restaurant, he passed Kristen and snarled, "What are you looking at?" She had nothing to do with the people he was arguing with. Kristen went to the restroom, then Bunche reentered the Waffle House and waited in an alcove.
When she left the restroom and for no apparent reason, Bunche empties a handgun into the helpless woman. Witnesses say was struck in the face as many as three times.
Juan Alvarez was also inside the Stone Drive Waffle House with his girlfriend and a few friends for New Year's breakfast. It was hard not to notice when a feral Michael Bunch enters the restaurant.
After Bunch was waving his stolen gun around, everyone including Alvarez and friends, probably knew trouble was coming.
After Bunche stormed out and came back a few minutes later opening fire on Kristen, Juan and a friend went into action. Some reports said they had Bunche pinned to the floor, other reports against a window after disarming him.
"That minute, I was only thinking stop the guy, that's it," said Alvarez. They could have very well prevented a slaughter that Sunday morning. Juan and his friend are heroes.
When police finally arrived Bunche was still violent and resisting arrest to the point officers tasered the animal. Police say Bunche didn't appear to be under the influence of drugs during the brutal attack on a complete stranger.
Kristen was transported to local hospital then later airlifted by helicopter to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.
She was listed in critical condition, but a few days later upgraded to stable. She was still not able to speak with anyone. Kingsport Police reports say she was shot multiple times, including once in the mouth.
Later press reports note that,
"Smith was shot twice in the mouth and has required facial reconstructive surgery to rebuild the palate of her mouth and lip; her upper gums and teeth were blown away by the gunfire."
According to the Kingsport Times-News, "Bunche is charged with attempted first-degree murder, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, and theft of more than $500, with the latter charge the result of a report out of Knoxville that the .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun he allegedly used was stolen.
According to KPD Detective David Cole, Bunche has a felony identity theft conviction that bars him from owning or possessing firearms."
Bunche remains jailed on $200,000 bond at the Kingsport City Jail.
Victim Sue Waffle House
The following extracts are from the Kingsport Times-News March 15th, 2012:
Kristin Smith has filed a $5 million lawsuit Rocky Top Waffles the owner of the Kingsport Waffle House. She,
"alleges in her lawsuit that Bunche went through the kitchen area of the Waffle House and exited the building, but then attempted for the next 10 minutes to re-enter through the back door, pounding on the door at the time." Smith also claimed "Bunche re-entered the Waffle House two more times."
She claims, "The employees failed to promptly notify the police of this disturbing conduct and allowed his dangerous behavior to escalate without notifying the police until it was too late."
Smith alleges the Waffle House employees were negligent in their actions and had a duty to take all reasonable steps to protect customers from criminal acts that were reasonably foreseeable, such as Bunche's erratic, hostile and threatening behavior.
Rocky Top Waffles is mum on the lawsuit.
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