Warren County Sheriff’s Department deputies shot a gunman who had opened fire on them Monday morning near Newtown, causing the suspect to be airlifted.
Two deputies returned gunfire and neither were injured. The name of the suspect has not been released.
According to a preliminary investigation, the chain of events began early Monday morning when the suspect alerted authorities in Rutherford County that he planned to burn his house in Overton County, then kill his son-in-law in Warren County.
Law enforcement began to take the second threat seriously when they arrived at the man’s property in Overton County and found it was on fire. Authorities alerted Warren County officials the suspect could be headed their way.
Sheriff Tommy Myers said his department increased patrols around the son-in-law’s home and one of his officers noticed a vehicle matching the description of the car the suspect was believed to be driving, a white Chevy Impala.
The officer fell in behind the suspect in Newtown as he traveled on New Nashville Highway heading toward Centertown. Another officer was also in the area for backup.
The suspect traveled outbound on the four-lane and made a right turn onto C. Rody Road. Shortly after making the turn, the suspect made a sharp veer to position his car broadside across the road. He then jumped out and opened fire on the officers, who both stopped their vehicles at the intersection of the four-lane and C. Rody Road.
A gunfight ensued with the suspect and officers about 100 feet away from one another.
According to evidence markers at the scene, the suspect fired at least 23 shots at deputies. He shot out both right-side tires of one vehicle, and shot through the front windshield of the other.
The suspect reportedly had a handgun and a rifle. It is not known what part of his body was shot. He was talking to emergency responders at the scene before he was airlifted.
As to why the man burned his home and threatened to kill his son-in-law, reports are that he has been suffering from mental issues that became acute about a month ago.
The TBI is in charge of the investigation.