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Officers cleared in fatal shooting at Sullivan County meth lab

January 15th, 2014 5:22 pm by Rain Smith

Officers cleared in fatal shooting at Sullivan County meth lab

Two police officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing in October's fatal shooting of a Bristol man, accused of trying to strike them with a vehicle while fleeing an active meth lab.

On Wednesday a Sullivan County grand jury was presented the findings of a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation probe into the incident, electing to take no action. Sullivan County District Attorney Gen. Barry Staubus says it was determined that the two officers who fired on Kenneth Ray Clark, 47, did not use excessive force, as there was an immediate danger to both police and the general public.

Clark, of Windsor Avenue in Bristol, Tenn., was shot on the night of Oct. 11. Officers with the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office Vice and Narcotics Unit, along with officers of the 2nd Judicial District Drug Task Force, had been dispatched to 2504 Bay St. in Bristol.

SCSO Public Information Officer Leslie Earhart said police had received information of an active meth lab at the location. When law enforcement arrived, Clark was found sitting in a vehicle with a woman.

As officers approached the vehicle he allegedly pushed the female out, then attempted to drive from the scene. Clark, who was wanted on warrants for a probation violation, reportedly tried to run over police while fleeing, prompting a Sullivan County officer and Drug Task Force officer to open fire.

Clark continued to drive away, but was soon located by authorities at a home on Randolph Street in Bristol, Va. He was then transported by EMS to Bristol Regional Medical Center and pronounced dead.

Staubus says the cause of death was determined to be a single gunshot wound.

On the night of the incident, police located the active meth lab they had originally responded to on Bay Street. It was found inside an outbuilding behind the home.

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