Witnesses Say Man Using Heroin Carried Out Murder At Hixson La Quinta After Saying He Was "Going To Kill Someone"

Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Mario Peoples
Mario Peoples

Police said an arrest has been made in a case in which a man was gunned down at the Hixson La Quinta Inn.

Last Saturday,  police responded to calls of a DOA victim at the inn on New Country Drive. The victim, Christopher Trivette, had a gunshot wound, and EMS pronounced him dead. A half hour later, an investigator pulled up on scene and saw the victim lying on his side in a pool of blood, and saw several bullet holes on the body. Police said his phone and ID were missing.

Police said hotel staff told them the room had been registered in another man’s name (Paul Burgess), and that two other black males had arrived the previous day to check in. They were told people in a nearby room may have information about the incident,  which was registered in the name of the girlfriend of the man now charged with the murder, 41-year-old Mario Peoples. Hotel staff showed police video of Peoples (who has a teardrop tattoo under one eye) with what appeared to be a large pistol protruding from his clothing.

Police interviewed the first witness a few hours later. The witness told police that the night before he was at the InTown Suites on Lee Highway when he was called down by an acquaintance to the parking lot where he was introduced to Peoples and a white male. He was told they were there to pick up money. They said they were going to the La Quinta in Hixson and would be returning. The witness said he never heard back from his acquaintance so he went to sleep.

He said the next morning, his acquaintance told him someone had been shot at the La Quinta Inn. The witness then told police he called a friend at the hotel and asked them to notify staff. That is when he said he drove to La Quinta Inn and made contact with police.

The next day, investigators spoke with the acquaintance. He said he called the first witness over to the white Ford Crown Victoria he was in, since the driver (Peoples) wanted to buy the first witness’s pistol. The first witness sold the pistol for $400, but the acquaintance said Peoples only paid a portion of the agreed upon amount.

After this, he said Peoples drove them to the La Quinta Inn and went to room 205, where they saw several people he did not know shooting heroin. The acquaintance said he saw Peoples shoot heroin into his arm with the victim. He said Peoples then became “irate” and accused Trivette of bugging his phone. The witness told of hearing Peoples say, “I’m going to kill someone” before he shot a round at the victim.

The acquaintance of the first witness then left the room and said he heard three more shots fired. He said he and the tall white man fled the Inn and sped away in Peoples' car. The witness told police before they left he heard Peoples say he forgot his phone and needed to get it back.

Police were told that the white male called Peoples’ sister and told her that her brother had shot someone.

When police interviewed the first witness again, he stated the second witness told him Peoples wanted to buy his pistol. The witness said Peoples was driving and that Peoples had a teardrop tattoo. The first witness said People only paid $200 of the agreed upon purchase. Out of a six-person photo lineup, the witness told police he was 80 percent sure Peoples was the man he sold the gun to.

Police later found and preserved Peoples’ Facebook account. In one video shared on Dec. 3, he could be seen getting into and driving a white Ford Crown Victoria, a vehicle matching the one at La Quinta Inn at the time of the incident. A few hours after this, the first witness called police and said the second witness saw a man named Mario shoot the victim. The second witness confirmed this, and identified Mario Peoples out of a photo lineup.

A few hours after this, a hotel staff member identified Peoples out of a photo lineup, and said he has been known to rent rooms under different names. He said Peoples has been banned multiple times because of ongoing drug and prostitution issues. The witness said Peoples had been in room 207 that night, which was right next to room 205 where the shooting occurred.

On Tuesday, police arrested Peoples. He is facing a criminal homicide charge.

 

 


Health Department No Longer Making Appointments For COVID-19 Vaccine; Gives Guidance For Lost Vaccination Record Cards And Upcoming Vaccination Schedule

Collegedale Police Save Overdose Victim

Hamilton County Has No New COVID Deaths, 16 More Cases; Tennessee Has 3 More Deaths


The Hamilton County Health Department is no longer making appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals may drive up to the Tennessee Riverpark vaccination site during operating hours to ... (click for more)

Collegedale police responded to the Integra Hills apartment complex on Thursday after receiving reports of an unconscious person. When they arrived at the residence, the officers discovered that ... (click for more)

Hamilton County had 16 new coronavirus cases reported Friday, bringing the total to 45,364. There have been no more deaths from the virus, and the total is at 506 in the county. The number ... (click for more)



Breaking News

Health Department No Longer Making Appointments For COVID-19 Vaccine; Gives Guidance For Lost Vaccination Record Cards And Upcoming Vaccination Schedule

The Hamilton County Health Department is no longer making appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals may drive up to the Tennessee Riverpark vaccination site during operating hours to receive their first or second dose of the vaccine. “We want to make this process as easy as possible so that we can eliminate barriers to getting vaccinated,” says Health Department Administrator ... (click for more)

Collegedale Police Save Overdose Victim

Collegedale police responded to the Integra Hills apartment complex on Thursday after receiving reports of an unconscious person. When they arrived at the residence, the officers discovered that the victim had overdosed on opiates. She wasn’t breathing and no pulse could be found. The officers immediately began CPR and administered NARCAN to the victim. Collegedale officers ... (click for more)

Opinion

Senator Blackburn: Open Border Policies Will Bring Chaos To Tennessee Communities

The Democrats' promises of free healthcare, education, and citizenship have thrust our southern border into chaos. Even after illegal crossings reached their highest rate in two decades, border czar and Vice President Kamala Harris still refuses to visit the U.S.-Mexico border. The Biden administration's deliberate inaction on this surge in illegal entry has turned every state into ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UAW: No Drug Tests?

General Motors is at wit’s end. GM needs to hire 450 “part time” workers immediately in Flint, Michigan and another 275 at the Fort Wayne, Ind., assembly plant. Add the fact the United Auto Workers, with its last president just sentenced to over two years in the slammer, is just as desperate for new members. GM is offering $16.67 an hour the first day, free medical care after 90 ... (click for more)

Sports

UT Baseball Coach Vitello Named National Coach Of Year By NCBWA

T. 03 Tennessee head baseball coach Tony Vitello has been named the 2021 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Mike Martin National Coach of the Year, the organization announced on Friday. Coach Vitello becomes just the second head coach in program history to earn National Coach of the Year honors, joining legendary Vols' skipper Rod Delmonico, who was named ... (click for more)

Vol Fans Invited To College World Series Watch Party Sunday At Lindsey Nelson Stadium

Tennessee Athletics is celebrating the baseball team's College World Series berth by hosting a "Big Orange Watch Party" Sunday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium during the Volunteers' opening game against Virginia. Admission is free for all fans. The stadium's front gate opens at 1 p.m. ET, and first pitch is set for 2 p.m. ET. Free parking is available in the G16 garage and all other ... (click for more)