Note: This story was last updated at 9 a.m. Oct. 9.
A man who struck an Oak Ridge police officer with a vehicle died when at least one officer shot at him in a courthouse parking lot on Monday evening, authorities said.
The police pursuit and shooting started in a residential area along Emory Valley Road and ended at Anderson County General Sessions Court in Oak Ridge. It was reported at about 6:30 p.m. Monday.
The Oak Ridge Police Department had recognized a man in a vehicle who had outstanding warrants on Cumberland View Drive in east Oak Ridge and tried to make a traffic stop, said Leslie Earhart, public information officer for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The man reportedly had warrants for domestic assault and aggravated burglary.
But the man, who was driving a pickup truck with a utility trailer attached, didn’t stop, Earhart said, citing preliminary information in a news conference Monday night. Residents of Emory Valley reported a police pursuit involving at least four police cars.
The vehicle drove a few miles west on Emory Valley Road to Anderson County General Sessions Court. There was a confrontation there when officers tried again to make a traffic stop, this time in the courthouse parking lot, and the man struck one of the officers with his vehicle, Earhart said. At least one officer then fired shots at the vehicle, striking the driver, she said.
The man, who has not been identified, had appeared to have intended to strike the officer, driving toward the officer, she said. The man was shot while in the vehicle, Earhart said.
The man was pronounced dead at a local hospital. It’s not clear how many times he was shot or where. His body will be sent for an autopsy, Earhart said.
She said it appears that the officer, who has also not been identified yet, was outside his or her police vehicle when struck by the man’s vehicle.
The officer was also taken to the hospital and is expected to be okay, Earhart said. He has since been released, the TBI said in a press release later Monday night.
The TBI is investigating the officer-involved shooting with special agents and forensic scientists at the request of Seventh Judicial District Attorney General Dave Clark in Anderson County. Earhart said the investigation, which will continue overnight, is “very fluid,” and she emphasized Monday night that the information was preliminary.
The courthouse parking lot was blocked off with yellow police/fire tape on Monday evening, and members of the Oak Ridge Police Department, Oak Ridge Fire Department, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, Anderson County EMS, and Clark, the DA, were there. In addition to the TBI, the Tennessee Highway Patrol also responded, and the Knox County medical examiner was reported to have responded as well. There were reports that a Lifestar medical helicopter had been called earlier also.
“At this time, the investigation is active and ongoing,” the TBI said in the press release Monday night. “TBI agents and forensic scientists continue to gather relevant evidence and interviews in connection to this incident. As in any case, our investigative findings will be shared with the district attorney general throughout the process for his consideration and review.”
More information will be added as it becomes available.
See previous story here.
Copyright 2018 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.