Jerry Lam, Donnie Wilks, Steve Head, and Paul Long, Do You Remember?

Jerry Lam, Donnie Wilks, Steve Head, and Paul Long, Do You Remember?

Smokey Barn News
Wednesday, March 5, 2024

Jerry Lam, Donnie Wilks, Steve Head, and Paul Long, Do You Remember?

SPRINGFIELD TENNESSEE: (Smokey Barn News) – Today marks twenty years since four businessmen were found shot to death in Springfield – Jerry Lam, Donnie Wilks, Steve Head, and Paul Long. All four men lost their lives within a 45-minute window, sending shockwaves throughout the community twenty years ago today, March 5th, 2004.

Where were you when you heard the news? Did you know any of the men? A quick internet search will reveal that there are many opinions on what exactly happened twenty years ago today. What we do know is that the four men knew each other and they were friends. They were well-known businessmen in the Robertson County area and their deaths touched many lives.

In an interview with Smokey Barn News this week, then Springfield Police Chief Mike Wilhoit said all four shootings went down in less than an hour. After the first two shootings, Wilhoit reached out to the TBI and said “I need some help up here, I have two dead men.” Before Wilhoit could finish the call with the TBI, someone walked into his office and said: -“We have another body.” Now Wilhoit had three dead bodies. There was a real concern Wilhoit said, we have an active shooter and no clue where or who it was. Minutes later, the fourth body would be found.

Wilhoit said Steve Head’s body was the first to be found, followed by Paul Long. Donnie Wilks would be third, followed by Jerry Lam, all within about 45 minutes. Head, the owner of the Springfield Golf Club, was discovered deceased in his residence. Paul Long, the owner of an auto repair business was found at work. Donny Wilks was found deceased on a street and Jerry Lam was discovered deceased at an abandoned warehouse.

Complicating matters was the weather Wilhoit said. “We had a monsoon, it was pouring rain.” With some of the evidence out in the weather and a very concerned public looking for answers, time was of the essence. With the assistance of the TBI and District Attorney John Carney, Wilhoit started the process of piecing it all together. After processing all the evidence, including forensic and ballistics, there’s no doubt in Wilhoit’s mind the shooter was Jerry Lam who then took his own life.

Wilhoit said it was about a week before an official statement was made to the press as to who the shooter was.  There was tremendous pressure from the media to put something out but Wilhoit said he waited until all the evidence was processed before making an official statement.

As we pass the twentieth anniversary of the loss of these four men, we are reminded of the lasting effects violence can have on a community.

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