Sullivan County mugshot of Jeffrey Chase Caldwell, 25
Kingsport police have filed no charges against a man who allegedly attempted to flee officers as they served warrants for his arrest, igniting a standoff that ended when he was shot in the abdomen after making "threatening gestures."
The KPD and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation report that the suspect was armed during the incident, but both agencies have declined to identify the weapon. The man's family claims the object was a roof shingle.
Jeffrey Chase Caldwell, 25, was transported to the hospital following the June 11 shooting at 1357 Watauga St., the home of his girlfriend's parents. He was released from Holston Valley Medical Center on Monday, then booked into the Sullivan County jail for violation of probation and failure to appear. On Thursday morning he remained held in Blountville on a hold for the same charges out of Hawkins County.
The TBI is investigating the incident, as is protocol for shootings involving an officer. Kingsport Police Department Spokesperson Tom Patton says any potential charges against Caldwell for the standoff and alleged threats to officers would come through the TBI's findings, if they are presented to a Sullivan County grand jury for consideration of indictments.
TBI Spokesperson Kristin Helm tells the Times-News there is no timetable for when their investigation will be completed. When finished, the results will be delivered to Sullivan County District Attorney Gen. Barry Staubus.
The incident began June 11 at approximately 1:40 a.m. Kingsport police reportedly visited the Watauga Street residence after receiving information that Caldwell was present and wanted on warrants in Sullivan and Hawkins County.
An affidavit filed in Kingsport court says Kelly Gardner, Caldwell's girlfriend and daughter of the homeowners, told responding officers that he wasn't present. That prompted her arrest on charges of filing a false police report. Police said her parents weren't home when the incident occurred.
When confronted by police, according to the TBI, Caldwell went onto the back roof of the residence with a weapon, stating he wouldn't go back to jail. Kingsport police add that he made multiple threats to harm both himself and officers, but both agencies have declined to specify what Caldwell was allegedly armed with.
KPD Officer Patton says that approximately two and a half hours into negotiations Caldwell made, "threatening gestures towards the officers with the weapon." A single officer then shot him in the abdomen.
The TBI and KPD have declined to identify the officer who shot Caldwell, though interim Kingsport Police Chief David Quillin says the action was justified.
"The suspect created this situation," said Quillin in a prepared statement issued last week. "The Kingsport Police Department responded, as required by duty and obligation, to a situation and location where a wanted man was believed to be. Once contact was established with Mr. Caldwell, he and he alone dictated the outcome of this incident."
Last week the Times-News spoke with Caldwell's parents. Citing conversations with their son while he was hospitalized, each said he was unarmed when shot; they said the object he held was a roof shingle that came loose during the standoff.
When contacted again on Thursday Jeffrey and Deena Caldwell stood by their prior statements, but offered no additional comment on the incident.