UPDATE: Kenneth Wayne DeHart Jr. was arrested in Knoxville, about 17 miles from where the deadly shooting occurred. Read more.
BLOUNT COUNTY, Tenn. – Law enforcement authorities in Tennessee are actively involved in a manhunt for a gunman after a deputy was shot and killed and a second deputy was wounded during a traffic stop Thursday, according to Blount County Sheriff James Berrong.
On Friday morning, the Blount County Sheriff’s Office office identified the fallen deputy as Greg McCowan. The agency also disclosed that Deputy Shelby Eggers suffered a gunshot wound in the leg. She was treated at a hospital and is now recovering at home, Fox News reported.
The suspect was identified as 42-year-old Kenneth Wayne DeHart. Authorities are searching for the gunman in connection with the deadly traffic stop that took place in the 4900 block of Sevierville Road in the city of Maryville Thursday night.
Sheriff Berrong said warrants have been issued for DeHart charging the man with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and felon in possession of a firearm.
“I’m so sorry that we lost him,” Sheriff Berrong said. “I talked to his family earlier. I apologize for not protecting him.”
The Blount County Mayor’s Office is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to Dehart’s capture, Sheriff Berrong said, according to CNN.
Dehart is believed to be traveling on foot and should be considered “armed and dangerous,” the sheriff’s office said. People were advised to immediately notify law enforcement if the man is spotted.
His last known location was in the county’s Wildwood area, according to BCSO.
Deputy Eggers returned fire during the lethal encounter, but it’s unknown if DeHart was hit, according to the sheriff.
Further details surrounding the deadly traffic stop and what led to the deadly shooting were not immediately available.