A manhunt is underway in Tennessee after a sheriff’s deputy was killed and another was injured during a traffic stop Thursday, according to Blount County Sheriff James Berrong.
During a news conference early Friday morning, the sheriff’s office identified the deputy killed as Greg McCowan. It was also revealed that a female deputy was shot in the leg and transported to a local hospital.
Authorities are actively searching for Kenneth Wayne DeHart, 42, in connection with the deadly traffic stop in Maryville Thursday night. Berrong said warrants have been issued for first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and felon in possession of a firearm.
Details surrounding the traffic stop, which took place in the 4900 block of Sevierville Road, and what led to the deadly shooting were not immediately available.
A Blue Alert has been issued in Tennessee for DeHart, who was last seen in the Wildwood area east of Maryville. He was driving a silver Lexus, but is now believed to be on foot and is considered to be “armed and dangerous.”
He is described as a Black man with black hair and brown eyes who stands at 6-feet tall and weighs 260 pounds. The Blount County Sheriff’s Office said he currently has dreadlocks.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is assisting local law enforcement in the search for DeHart and the investigation.
He was added to the state’s Most Wanted list Friday morning and the TBI is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to his arrest.
The Blount County mayor is also offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest, according to Berrong.
Tips on DeHart’s whereabouts can be left with the BCSO at 865-981-7125 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.
Berrong shared through tearful eyes Friday morning that he has spoken to McCowan’s family and apologized for “not protecting him.”
“We’re going to get this man off the streets of east Tennessee and put him behind bars,” Berrong promised.
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