Kingsport man shot by police in fair condition at HVMC

Rain Smith • Dec 28, 2009 at 12:00 AM

KINGSPORT — Kingsport police have identified a man shot Sunday night during a domestic disturbance, as well as the officer who fired one round into the suspect’s upper torso.

Police Chief Gale Osborne said Keith Tomlinson was shot at his father’s home, 200 River Edge Drive, after repeatedly swinging a “large club” at officers responding to a domestic assault call.

Osborne identified the officer who fired the shot as Martin Taylor. Osborne said officers initially attempted to subdue Tomlinson with Tasers but were unsuccessful.

Shortly after 9 p.m., Taylor and another officer, Matthew Stewart, were met outside the home by Tomlinson’s father. The father, who lives at the residence, told police Tomlinson had been pushing him around and making threats.

Officers Taylor and Stewart entered the home and made contact with Tomlinson, Osborne said.

Osborne said Tomlinson was swinging a “large club” at the officers, who tried several means to stop his aggressive and hostile actions. Those attempts, including Tasers, had no effect, and Tomlinson allegedly charged the officers while swinging at them with the club.

Osborne said Taylor fired one round into Tomlinson’s upper torso. However, Tomlinson remained combative after being shot, and it took the assistance of a third officer to restrain him.

According to a spokesperson for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation — who confirmed they are investigating the incident, as is routine when an officer is involved in a shooting — Tomlinson, 44, is in fair condition at Holston Valley Medical Center.

Osborne said Taylor’s actions against Tomlinson appear to have been justified. Officers involved in a shooting are granted administrative leave if requested, according to Osborne, but Taylor has decided to continue working.

Osborne added that Tomlinson has “some history” of run-ins with police, but he did not elaborate.

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