Friend of second Sullivan County homicide victim speaks out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — A friend of Barry Countiss, the second victim in last week’s double shooting in Blountville, is speaking out after his death.

Countiss was found dead in his home last Thursday morning when local police responded to his home for a welfare check. The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office says he was shot and killed after Katie Arnold.

Countiss lived on Stevenson Hill Road, just up Highway 75 from the home on Deck Lane where Arnold was shot.

Authorities say Donald Britt stole Countiss’ 2007 Nissan Xterra and is accused of killing both Arnold and Countiss.

The Sullivan County sheriff is working with the district attorney to charge Britt in the second shooting. District Attorney General Barry Staubus told News Channel 11 Tuesday he plans to announce charges later this week.

Britt was charged with first-degree murder last week for the shooting of Katie Arnold.

Remembering a friend

For Countiss’ childhood friend Christopher Jones, it’s hard to believe that Countiss is no longer here.

He says he still thinks of texting or calling Countiss regularly.

“The first thing I did was pick up my phone. I wanted to tell Barry,” Jones told News Channel 11.

Countiss and Jones attended Tennessee High together and bonded over a shared love of BMX. Though Jones has since moved to North Carolina, the relationship was still close.

“We spoke almost every day. The conversations were always….he listens and he’s like, he could be I mean a psychiatrist or something,” Jones said. “He always had interest in everything I would talk about.”

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