Previously reported: KINGSPORT — A Thursday afternoon attempt to arrest an alleged stalker triggered a lengthy standoff in Ridgefields, culminating with two police officers being shot and the suspect later found dead in his home.
Injuries to the officers, who were not immediately identified, did not initially appear to be life-threatening. One was treated at a local hospital and released while the other underwent surgery Thursday night.
Meanwhile, an autopsy will be performed on the deceased to determine if his gunshot wound was self-inflicted or incurred during the exchange of fire with police. As of Thursday night he had not been identified, pending notification of next of kin.
According to the Kingsport Police Department, at approximately 2 p.m. officers learned a man had threatened to harm and/or kill both himself and a neighbor. While investigating the complaint, police discovered the suspect had an outstanding arrest warrant for failure to appear. It was related to a previous charge of aggravated stalking, with the victim being a different neighbor on Manor Court.
Shortly thereafter, patrol officers visited the suspect’s condominium in an attempt to locate him. Upon finding the man had barricaded himself inside, officers called in the KPD SWAT team.
More than two hours later, at approximately 4:45 p.m., the man allegedly exited his residence with a firearm. KPD Public Information Officer Tom Patton said there was an “immediate exchange of gunfire,” during which two officers shot, and the suspect retreated back inside.
Kingsport police cleared neighbors from the surrounding condominiums, and at about 6 p.m. SWAT made tactical entry into the man's home. He was found deceased inside, with the exact cause and manner of his death remaining under investigation.
As is protocol for all officer-involved shootings, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was contacted to probe the incident. Agents worked the scene late into the night. The Kingsport Police Department Criminal Investigations Division will also conduct a parallel in-house investigation.
As the standoff and shooting unfolded on Thursday afternoon, Kingsport police shut off access into portions of Ridgefields. A reverse 911 call was sent to nearby residents — urging them to stay inside — while the media was briefed from a parking lot near the subdivision's entrance on Ridgefields Road.
Shortly after 8 p.m, a second reverse 911 call stated the situation had been resolved. It asked people to minimize vehicle and pedestrian, as West Manor Court would see a heavy law enforcement throughout the night.
"The department has received an outpouring of support from the community in the form of phone calls, text messages, emails, social media posts, and even food deliveries expressing thoughts and prayers for everyone involved," read a statement from the KPD. "For this, the Kingsport Police Department would like to express sincere heartfelt gratitude."
UPDATED: 9:22 p.m. — According to a press release from Kingsport Police:
On the afternoon of November 9, 2017 at approximately 2:00 PM, the Kingsport Police Department received information concerning a resident of a condominium in the Ridgefields neighborhood of Kingsport.
The information indicated that an adult male suspect, who resided in the 1900 block of Manor Court, had made threats to harm and/or kill both himself and one of his neighbors. During the course of the ensuing investigation, Officers learned that there was also an outstanding arrest warrant for this same suspect for Failure to Appear on a previous charge of Aggravated Stalking involving a completely different neighbor. They also learned that he was reportedly in possession of a firearm.
Shortly thereafter, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers arrived at the suspect’s residence in an attempt to locate him. Upon arrival, responding officers found that he had barricaded himself inside his residence. Officers set up a perimeter and called in the K.P.D. S.W.A.T. Team to assist.
A telephone message was soon disseminated via the Kingsport 9-1-1 Community Notification System, alerting residents of the neighborhood that there was an emergency situation in progress in the immediate area with instructions for residents to stay indoors.
At approximately 4:45 PM, the suspect exited his condominium, armed with a firearm, and there was an immediate exchange of gunfire between him and the officers. He then retreated back inside his condominium. During the gunfire exchange, two Kingsport Police Patrol Officers were wounded.
The officers’ injuries did not initially appear life threatening, and they were still conscious and alert. Both officers were transported to an area medical facility for treatment. The latest information was that one of those officers had been treated and released, and the other officer was being prepped for surgery. Out of respect for their privacy, their identities will not be released at this time.
K.P.D. personnel began clearing neighbors from the surrounding condominiums for safety. At approximately 6:00 PM, the S.W.A.T. Team made a tactical entry into the suspect’s residence. He was found deceased inside. The exact cause and manner of his death remains under investigation, pending an autopsy, and will not be released at this time. His identity is being temporarily withheld pending notification of next of kin.
The scene has now been rendered safe, and residents are being allowed to return to their homes; however, it is still an active crime scene with very limited access.
As is the case with any officer involved shooting, in an effort to maintain complete transparency with the community, the Kingsport Police Department contacted the Office of the 2nd Judicial District Attorney with a request for an independent investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The Kingsport Police Department Criminal Investigations Division will also conduct a parallel in-house investigation.
The department has received an outpouring of support from the community in the form of phone calls, text messages, emails, social media posts, and even food deliveries expressing thoughts and prayers for everyone involved. For this, the Kingsport Police Department would like to express sincere heartfelt gratitude.
As this is now an active multi-agency investigation, no additional details can or will be released at this time.
UPDATED at 6:22 p.m.
Two Kingsport police officers were shot during an exchange of gunfire with a suspect in the Ridgefields subdivision in Kingsport. Injuries to the officers do not appear to be life-threatening.
Kingsport Police Department spokesperson Tom Patton said the male subject has been apprehended.
At approximately 2:30 p.m., Thursday, Kingsport police officers arrived in the area of Manor Court in Ridgefields.
“We had pre-existing warrants for an individual, an adult male. He had barricaded himself inside his condominium. We had the place surrounded and were keeping an eye on it. At some point, around 4:45 p.m., we did have some shots fired.”
“As of 6 p.m., we have received word that the suspect has been apprehended,” Patton said.
Patton briefed members of the media at Ridgefields Market.
“This is very much an active scene, an active investigation,” Patton said.
Access to the neighborhood remains limited.
“We are opening up some access points to the neighborhood and we should send out a reverse 911 call soon,” Patton said.
At the request of Sullivan County District Attorney General Barry Staubus, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has been called in to probe the incident.
Check back with TimesNews.net for additional information as it becomes available.
The Kingsport Police Department is on the scene of an emergency situation in the Ridgefields subdivision.
Residents have received a reverse 911 call with instructions; others should avoid the area.
“Reverse 911 call went out to neighborhood warning people of an emergency situation with instructions to stay inside,” KPD spokesperson Tom Patton said.
Check back with TimesNews.Net for more information about this developing story.