Suicide confirmed in death of man who shot KPD officers in Ridgefields standoff

Rain Smith • Jan 31, 2018 at 5:22 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — A Sullivan County grand jury Wednesday upheld state findings about the death of a man who shot two Kingsport police officers, confirming that he later committed suicide in his residence and that police acted appropriately. 

On Nov. 9, officers attempted to serve a warrant on Hugh Kyle Hurd, 58, at his Manor Court apartment in Ridgefields. He refused to come outside for about two hours, then exited and advanced on officers while firing a shotgun multiple times.

After shooting a pair of officers, Hurd went back inside and the Kingsport Police Department cleared the surrounding condominiums. SWAT personnel then entered Hurd’s condo and found him dead.

As is the case with all shootings involving officers, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was called in to investigate the incident. A few days after the standoff, the agency announced that Hurd had fatally shot himself after retreating inside his apartment.

On Wednesday, a Sullivan County grand jury was presented evidence in the case. District Attorney General Barry Staubus tells the Times News that the TBI’s initial findings of suicide were upheld. The grand jury also determined that the KPD followed protocol and the incident was handled appropriately.

One of the officers shot by Hurd was treated and released that same night, while the other remained hospitalized and underwent multiple surgeries. He has now recovered and returned to active duty earlier this month.

The KPD declined to name the officers, saying that they were victims in the incident and that the department does not name the victims of crimes.

The standoff was spurred by a complaint that Hurd had threatened to harm and/or kill both himself and a neighbor. Officers then discovered that Hurd had an outstanding arrest warrant for failure to appear, which was related to a previous charge of aggravated stalking of a different neighbor.

Shortly thereafter, patrol officers visited Hurd’s condominium and the standoff ensued.

The day after the incident, Hurd’s neighbors told the Times News that the man appeared to have recently had a change in mental status. On Wednesday, Staubus confirmed that in the months leading up to the confrontation with police, Hurd had displayed erratic behavior indicative of mental health issues.

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