ROGERSVILLE — One of two suspects wanted in connection with a bizarre kidnapping and shooting that began in Mount Carmel, in Hawkins County, and ended in the Bloomingdale community of Sullivan County in June of 2017, was returned to Hawkins County last week regarding local charges relating to those alleged crimes.
Jarret Cole “Shroom” Heitmann, 27, of Bristol, TN, was added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Top 10 Most Wanted List in the summer of 2017 on charges from the Sullivan Co. Sheriff’s Office and TBI that included Attempted Second Degree Murder and Especially Aggravated Robbery, in connection to a shooting incident that occurred on June 20 of that year in the Bloomingdale community of Kingsport.
Heitmann was also wanted for Especially Aggravated Kidnapping, Especially Agravated Burglary, and Aggravated Burglary regarding related incidents that happened in Hawkins County.
Heitmann was arrested by New Orleans (Louisiana) Police on Aug. 31, 2017, following a shoplifting incident at a business in the city.
He was brought to the Hawkins Co. Jail on June 15, 2020, by Deputy Joey Maddox, after being arrested at the Sullivan Co. Jail in Blountville.
Makayla Danielle Stilwell, 22, reportedly Heitmann’s girlfriend at the time, was also wanted by the SCSO and TBI on charges of Attempted Second Degree Murder and Especially Aggravated Robbery, in connection to the June 20 incident, and by Hawkins Co. authorities on a charge of Aggravated Kidnapping.
On Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, New Orleans police received a tip that Stilwell had been seen at a park in the city. Members of the U.S. Marshals Service's Fugitive Task Force located Stilwell that evening and took her into custody. She was transported to a hospital to undergo treatment for an injury sustained prior to her arrest.
Both were held in the Orleans Parish Jail pending extradition proceedings.
While no specific motive for the bizarre incidents, that led from Mt. Carmel to Kingsport, has yet been made public, to the Review’s knowledge, it all began began in the early morning hours of June 20, 2017, when, around 2 a.m., Sullivan County authorities were alerted to a shooting at a trailer park in the 1900 block of Bloomingdale Road.
The incident left Dustin Bishop, 34, hospitalized with serious injuries.
Investigators said at the time that Heitmann and Stilwell had arrived at the trailer with another woman, whom they had allegedly abducted at gunpoint from her Mount Carmel home. Since the kidnapped woman reportedly was acquainted with Bishop, authorities believe she was forced at gunpoint to knock on the door and try to get him to come out of the mobile home.
According to a police report, Bishop was then dragged into the yard by the suspects, where Heitmann allegedly shot Bishop in the chest.
Heitmann and Stilwell then fled. According to reports by the Associated Press, Heitmann and Stilwell were spotted in New York and Pennsylvania in June of that year, prior to their arrests in New Orleans later that summer.
They were listed by authorities at the time as “armed and extremely dangerous”.
The Mount Carmel Police Department was contacted following the shooting, and MCPD Det. Cody Bussell said at the time that officers from that agency visited the scene of the alleged kidnapping, in the 400 block of Bay Street, where they found several blood spots on the front door, and more blood stains throughout the house, along with a broken-out window in the back of the residence.
The kidnapped woman, who reportedly sustained bruises and scrapes in the incident, told authorities that she was watching TV when she heard the window break.
She then ran to a bathroom to try and protect another female resident, but Heitmann barged through the door and knocked her down, according to reports. Heitmann and Stilwell allegedly struck the victim multiple times, dragged her by her hair outside, threw her into a car and headed for Bishop’s residence in Sullivan County, where authorities believe she was forcibly used as “bait” to lure Bishop from the trailer.