Sheriff: Drugs might have been motive in Cumberland Gap killing

5:21 PM, Jan 26, 2011   |    comments
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Harvey Fuson

Investigators believe a popular Cumberland Gap store owner was beaten to death by someone looking for drugs.

Harvey Fuson was found dead in his store Tuesday afternoon. The store called The Old Drug Store and Antiques did not sell drugs, despite the name. 

Claiborne County Sheriff David Ray says they believe Fuson may have been killed by someone from out of the area who thought they could get prescription drugs from him.

Ray says Fuson was killed between 12:30 and 1:30 pm. 

There was some damage to the store, but they're not sure yet if anything was taken.

Deputies are out looking for suspicious vehicles or any evidence that may have been tossed out of a car.  They are following several leads, but so far, no arrests have been made.

We will have more on this story on WBIR. com and on Wednesday's 10News at 6.

Previous story 

When one person hurts in the town of Cumberland Gap, it isn't unusual for most of the town to know.

Tuesday, the townspeople felt helpless because it was too late to save one of their most beloved.

"It's just like a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach to imagine someone could do this, let alone to Harvey," Cumberland Gap resident Chuck Coffey said.

Harvey Fuson owned the Old Drug Store and Antiques in Cumberland Gap.  The business has been in his family's hands since 1907.  The Claiborne County Sheriff's Office said Fuson's wife dropped by the store around 1 p.m. and found her husband dead.

"He was a jack of all trades, quite the character," Coffey said while describing Coffey.  "Bicycle enthusiast, antique car enthusiast, loved life.  I can't imagine what it's going to feel like to walk down the street in the Summer and not stop in and just say hi to him."

The sheriff's office is investigating the case as a suspicious death and possible homicide.  Investigators said the motive could possibly be robbery.  There are several persons of interest in the case. 

Aside from his wife, the sheriff's office said Fuson leaves behind at least one child and grandchildren.  The store owner was celebrating his birthday Tuesday.

If you have any information about the case you're asked to call the Claiborne County Sheriff's Office at (423) 626-3121.

Previous Story:

The Claiborne County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of a long-time, popular business owner in Cumberland Gap.

According to Capt. David Honeycutt, Harvey Fuson, the owner of Old Drug Store and Antiques on Colwyn Avenue, was found dead at the business this afternoon.  They were called in to investigate around 1 pm Tuesday.

Back in April, Beth Haynes spent the day with Harvey Fuson at his store, click here to watch that story 

Honeycutt would not elaborate on the cause of Fuson's death, other than to say it was not natural causes.  He said they are considering the case to be a suspicious death and possibly a homicide.

He could not release any other details. Officials with TBI are in the early stages of their investigation.

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