A manhunt was underway in Tennessee on Friday for the man who shot a pair deputies, one of whom has since died from his wounds, police said.
The suspect, identified as Kenneth Wayne DeHart Jr., was added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s “most wanted” list early Friday morning, hours after he opened fire on two Blount County Sheriff’s deputies during a traffic stop in Maryville. He’s wanted on suspicion of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm, the Blount County Sheriff’s Office said.
The officers pulled over an SUV on U.S. Route 411, some 16 miles south of Knoxville, just before 8:30 p.m. on Thursday. According to a press release from the TBI, DeHart “would not cooperate with deputies and refused to get out of the vehicle.”
At one during the stop, a Taser was used but to “no effect,” officials said. That’s when DeHart allegedly pulled out a gun and started shooting, fatally striking Deputy Greg McCowan. A second officer, Deputy Shelby Eggers, was wounded after returning fire, the sheriff’s office said. She was treated at a hospital and has since been released,
It’s unclear what prompted the traffic stop.
“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. We had an officer killed tonight,” Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong told reporters during an emotional news conference. “I’m so sorry that we’ve lost a young man. I talked to his family earlier. I apologized for not protecting him.”
A $60,000 reward is being offered for information leading to DeHart’s arrest. He was last seen in the county’s Wildwood area and authorities believe is traveling on foot.
Police also warned against approaching Dehart, who is considered “armed and dangerous,” according to the sheriff’s office.
With News Wire Services